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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 3;8(6):e61810. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061810. Print 2014.

Ectopic overexpression of SsCBF1, a CRT/DRE-binding factor from the nightshade plant Solanum lycopersicoides, confers freezing and salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis.

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College of Life Sciences, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin, China.


The C-repeat (CRT)/dehydration-responsive element (DRE) binding factor (CBF/DREB1) transcription factors play a key role in cold response. However, the detailed roles of many plant CBFs are far from fully understood. A CBF gene (SsCBF1) was isolated from the cold-hardy plant Solanum lycopersicoides. A subcellular localization study using GFP fusion protein indicated that SsCBF1 is localized in the nucleus. We delimited the SsCBF1 transcriptional activation domain to the C-terminal segment comprising amino acid residues 193-228 (SsCBF1(193-228)). The expression of SsCBF1 could be dramatically induced by cold, drought and high salinity. Transactivation assays in tobacco leaves revealed that SsCBF1 could specifically bind to the CRT cis-elements in vivo to activate the expression of downstream reporter genes. The ectopic overexpression of SsCBF1 conferred increased freezing and high-salinity tolerance and late flowering phenotype to transgenic Arabidopsis. RNA-sequencing data exhibited that a set of cold and salt stress responsive genes were up-regulated in transgenic Arabidopsis. Our results suggest that SsCBF1 behaves as a typical CBF to contribute to plant freezing tolerance. Increased resistance to high-salinity and late flowering phenotype derived from SsCBF1 OE lines lend more credence to the hypothesis that plant CBFs participate in diverse physiological and biochemical processes related to adverse conditions.

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