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Plant J. 2009 Oct;60(2):340-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2009.03959.x. Epub 2009 Jun 29.

A moderate decrease in temperature induces COR15a expression through the CBF signaling cascade and enhances freezing tolerance.

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Department of Plant Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.

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  • Plant J. 2010 Jan;61(1):189.


Temperature has a profound effect on plant growth and development. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this regulation are not well understood. In particular, how moderate temperature variations are perceived and transduced inside the plant cells remains obscure. In this study, we analyzed transcriptional responses to a moderate decrease in temperature (cooling) in Arabidopsis thaliana. The cooling response involves a weaker and more transient induction of cold-induced genes, such as COR15a, than cold response. This induction probably accounts for the increase in freezing tolerance by cooling acclimation. Cooling also induces some defense response genes, and their induction, but not that of COR15a, requires the salicylic acid signaling pathway. Analysis of the regulation of COR15a reveals that cooling induction is mediated through the same C repeat/dehydration-responsive (CRT/DRE) element as cold induction. Furthermore, we identified a role for CBF1 and CBF4 in transducing signals of moderate decreases in temperature. It appears that variants of the CBF signaling cascade are utilized in cold and cooling responses, and a moderate decrease in temperature may invoke an adaptive response to prepare plants to cope with a more drastic decrease in temperature.

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