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Plant J. 2008 Sep;55(5):734-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03549.x. Epub 2008 May 9.

A role for SENSITIVE TO FREEZING2 in protecting chloroplasts against freeze-induced damage in Arabidopsis.

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School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, Surrey, UK.


The sensitive to freezing2 (SFR2) gene has an important role in freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that homologous genes are present, and expressed, in a wide range of terrestrial plants, including species not able to tolerate freezing. Expression constructs derived from the cDNAs of a number of different plant species, including examples not tolerant to freezing, are able to complement the freezing sensitivity of the Arabidopsis sfr2 mutant. In Arabidopsis the SFR2 protein is localized to the chloroplast outer envelope membrane, as revealed by the analysis of transgenic plants expressing SFR2 fusions to GFP, by confocal microscopy, and by the immunological analysis of isolated chloroplasts treated with thermolysin protease. Moreover, the chloroplasts of the sfr2 mutant show clear evidence of rapid damage after a freezing episode, suggesting a role for SFR2 in the protection of the chloroplast.

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