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Plant Physiol. 1983 Feb;71(2):362-5.

Involvement of abscisic Acid in potato cold acclimation.

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  • 1Laboratory of Plant Hardiness, Department of Horticultural Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108.


Upon exposure to 2 degrees C day/night (D/N), leaves of Solanum commersonii (Sc) began acclimating on the 4th day from a -5 degrees C (killing temperature) hardy level to -12 degrees C by the 15th day. Leaves of S. tuberosum L. (St) cv ;Red Pontiac' typically failed to acclimate and were always killed at -3 degrees C. Leaves of control (20/15 degrees C, D/N) and treated plants (2 degrees C, D/N) of St showed similar levels of free abscisic acid (ABA) during a 15-day sampling period. In treated Sc plants, however, free ABA contents increased 3-fold on the 4th day and then declined to their initial level thereafter. The increase was not observed in leaves of Sc control plants.Treated St plants showed a slightly higher content of leaf soluble protein than controls. In Sc, leaves of controls maintained relatively constant soluble proteins, but leaves of treated plants showed a distinct increase. This significant increase was initiated on the 4th day, peaked on the 5th day, and remained at a high level throughout the 15-day sampling period.Exogenously applied ABA induced frost hardiness in leaves of Sc plants whether plants were grown under a 20 degrees C or 2 degrees C temperature regime. When cycloheximide was added to the medium of stem-cultured plants at the beginning of 2 degrees C acclimation, or at the beginning of the ABA treatment in the 20 degrees C regime, it completely inhibited the development of frost hardiness. However, when cycloheximide was added to plants on the 5th day during 2 degrees C acclimation, the induction of frost hardiness was not inhibited. The role of ABA in triggering protein synthesis needed to induce frost hardiness is discussed.

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