Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Seeking comfort from the cold

11.04.2003


Scientists at the University of Arizona have discovered a critical cold-tolerance gene in Arabidopsis. As published in the April 15th issue of Genes & Development, the identification of ICE1 by Dr. Jian-Kang Zhu and colleagues holds promising implications for the improvement of cold tolerance in agriculturally important crops.



Cold temperature is one of the major factors affecting crop yield in temperate climates, with the farming industry loosing billions of dollars each year to freezing temperatures. Much research has focused on ways to improve crops’ tolerance to cold and/or freezing temperatures, with the aim to both increase productivity and broaden geographical range.

In 1988, scientists identified the Arabidopsis CBF family of transcription factors. CBF proteins regulate the expression of cold-responsive genes in Arabidopsis, which enable the plant to acclimate to, and survive in, cold temperatures.


As reported in their current G&D paper, Dr. Zhu and colleagues have now discovered a key transcriptional regulator of CBF genes – a marked advance in the research effort to understand and ultimately improve cold tolerance in plants.

To identify genes act upon CBF genes and affect cold tolerance in plants, Dr. Zhu and colleagues carried out a genetic screen with Arabidopsis plants that were genetically engineered to glow in the cold. The researchers inserted a luciferase/CBF3 transgene (a recombinant DNA molecule containing the firefly luciferase gene under the control of the CBF3 gene regulatory region) into the Arabidopsis genome, in order to generate plants that bioluminesce under cold stress. These cold-responsive bioluminescent plants were mutagenized, and plants that no longer glowed in cold temperatures were selected.

One particularly striking mutant exhibited ten times less luminescence after 12 hours at 0ºC than the wild-type bioluminescent plants. Dr. Zhu and colleagues cloned the gene that had been mutated in this plant, and named it ICE1 (inducer of CBF expression). Further research by the group revealed that ICE1 is also a transcription factor: During periods of cold stress, ICE1 binds to and turns on the CBF3 gene, which, in turn, induces the expression of cold-responsive genes. Using microarray analysis, Dr. Zhu and colleagues demonstrated that in ICE1-mutant plants, over 70% of cold-responsive genes are misregulated, causing the plants to exhibit severely reduced cold tolerance.

Dr. Zhu and colleagues also demonstrated that the increased expression of ICE1 in Arabidopsis plants leads to increased cold tolerance. This result is expected to garner significant attention from the agricultural community, as the transgenic expression of ICE1 in domesticated, cold-sensitive crops -- like soybeans, tomatoes, potatoes, rice and barley – may provide a new way to increase the ability of such plants to survive in the cold.

As Dr. Zhu explains, "The significance of our findings on ICE1 may be two-fold: It is likely useful for the genetic improvement of plant freezing tolerance, and the identification of ICE1 takes us one step closer to address the question how cold signals are sensed and transduced."

Heather Cosel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.org/

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Taming 'wild' electrons in graphene

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mountain glaciers shrinking across the West

23.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

Scientists track ovarian cancers to site of origin: Fallopian tubes

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>