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J Exp Bot. 2007;58(11):3061-9.

Differential temperature regulation of GA metabolism in light and darkness in pea.

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  • 1Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, N-1432 As, Norway.


In greenhouse production of a number of flowering plant species, a short diurnal temperature drop in the morning is commonly used to reduce stem elongation. Earlier studies of pea (Pisum sativum) exposed to different combinations of day and night temperature, indicate that light, temperature, and gibberellin (GA) interact in the control of stem elongation. However, the mechanisms behind the effects of short-term temperature drops and differential sensitivity depending on the timing of the drop treatment have not been reported. Here, the involvement of GA metabolism in this has been investigated by exposing pea to short-term temperature drops in light or darkness. A 2 h temperature drop from 21 degrees C to 13 degrees C in the middle of the light period rapidly reduced the rate of stem elongation temporarily by 55% and increased mRNA levels of the GA-deactivation gene PsGA2ox2 by 2-fold within 30 min and up to 4-fold within 1.5 h. GA(1) levels were reduced by 36% after a 3-4 h time lag. A temperature drop in the night reduced stem elongation by 27%, but had no effect on transcript levels of PsGA2ox2. Instead, steady-state expression of the GA-biosynthesis genes NA, PsGA20ox1, and PsGA3ox1 was slightly stimulated, but there was no effect on GA(1) level. In conclusion, the effect of a temperature drop on GA metabolism in pea is qualitatively different in light and dark. Light is required for deactivation of GA(1) resulting from increased expression of PsGA2ox2. This suggests that GA-metabolism is a component in the short-term adaptation to changes in ambient temperature and putatively in low temperature-light stress responses.

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