Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Mar 2;101(9):3298-303. Epub 2004 Feb 11.

Expression of an active tobacco mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase enhances freezing tolerance in transgenic maize.

Author information

Plant Transformation Facility, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1010, USA.


Cold acclimation is the major process that prepares plants for freezing tolerance. In addition to extensive transcription regulation by cold-inducible master transcription factors, oxidative stress signaling has been postulated to play a role in freezing tolerance. Activation of oxidative signaling through the expression of an active mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase provided benefits in transgenic tobacco at freezing temperature bypassing cold acclimation. Because involvement of the mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade in oxidative stress signaling is evolutionarily conserved in eukaryotes from yeast to mammals, we tested the effect of expressing a heterologous tobacco mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (Nicotiana PK1), which can mimic H(2)O(2) signaling, in a major cereal crop. We demonstrate that low-level but constitutive expression of the Nicotiana PK1 gene enhances freezing tolerance in transgenic maize plants that are normally frost sensitive. Our results suggest that a new molecular approach can be designed to genetically enhance freezing tolerance in important crops.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center