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Genome. 2005 Oct;48(5):913-23.

Transcriptome comparison of winter and spring wheat responding to low temperature.

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Department of Biology, Concordia University, Montréal, QC, Canada.


Freezing tolerance in plants is a complex trait that occurs in many plant species during growth at low, nonfreezing temperatures, a process known as cold acclimation. This process is regulated by a multigenic system expressing broad variation in the degree of freezing tolerance among wheat cultivars. Microarray analysis is a powerful and rapid approach to gene discovery. In species such as wheat, for which large scale mutant screening and transgenic studies are not currently practical, genotype comparison by this methodology represents an essential approach to identifying key genes in the acquisition of freezing tolerance. A microarray was constructed with PCR amplified cDNA inserts from 1184 wheat expressed sequence tags (ESTs) that represent 947 genes. Gene expression during cold acclimation was compared in 2 cultivars with marked differences in freezing tolerance. Transcript levels of more than 300 genes were altered by cold. Among these, 65 genes were regulated differently between the 2 cultivars for at least 1 time point. These include genes that encode potential regulatory proteins and proteins that act in plant metabolism, including protein kinases, putative transcription factors, Ca2+ binding proteins, a Golgi localized protein, an inorganic pyrophosphatase, a cell wall associated hydrolase, and proteins involved in photosynthesis.

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