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Plant Physiol Biochem. 2004 Dec;42(10):811-22.

Changes in the endoplasmic reticulum lipid properties in response to low temperature in Brassica napus.

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  • 1Physiologie Cellulaire et Mol√©culaire des Plantes (CNRS, UMR 7632), Case courrier 154, Universit√© Pierre et Marie Curie, 4, place Jussieu, 75252, Paris cedex 5, France.


Cold is an abiotic stress known to induce changes in membrane lipid composition. However, there is only limited information on the differential reactivity to environmental temperature of distinct cellular compartments. Therefore, we focused our attention on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that was never studied in this respect in plants. The ER membranes of etiolated Brassica napus (oilseed rape) hypocotyls grown at low temperature (4 degrees C) has been shown to be enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids and phosphatidylethanolamine (PtdEtn) compared to hypocotyls grown at 22 degrees C. Despite the significant changes in their lipid composition upon cold exposure, the ER membranes showed a very partial physico-chemical adaptation as determined by measurement of membrane fluidity parameters such as local microviscosity of acyl chains and lipid lateral diffusion. To investigate the implication of transcriptional regulations during cold acclimation, we compared the abundance of transcripts for genes related to the fatty acid and the phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho)/PtdEtn biosynthesis pathways between normal temperature (22 degrees C)-acclimated and cold temperature (4 degrees C)-treated seedlings, using heterologous cDNA-array technology based on the knowledge on the Arabidopsis genome. Our studies demonstrate that a putative stearoyl-ACP desaturase isogene (orthologous to At1g43800) was up-regulated in response to low temperature.

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