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Chitooligosaccharide plays essential roles in regulating proline metabolism and cold stress tolerance in rice seedlings

Zhang, Yang, Fan, Liqiang, Zhao, Mengyao, Chen, Qiming, Qin, Zhen, Feng, Zhihang, Fujiwara, Toru, Zhao, Liming
Acta physiologiae plantarum 2019 v.41 no.6 pp. 77
biosynthesis, chitooligosaccharides, cold, cold stress, cold tolerance, crops, elicitors, genes, glutamic acid, immunity, messenger RNA, osmoregulation, proline, rice, seedling growth, seedlings, temperature, vigor
Rice is one of the most important crops around the world. The cold temperature as a major abiotic stress occurs frequently affecting rice growth and final plant yield. Chitooligosaccharide (COS) has been reported as an elicitor of plant immunity that can improve plant seedling tolerance to cold stress. However, the mechanisms on the enhanced cold tolerance is unclear. Here, we report that the rice seedlings treated by COS demonstrated good cold tolerance with promoted root vigor and plant growth. COS could increase contents of proline and glutamate in the seedlings. Moreover, expression analysis revealed COS significantly induced the transcripts of the key genes associated with the glutamate and proline biosynthesis pathway during cold stress. These results indicate that COS enhanced seedling growth and cold tolerance in rice may be caused by the osmotic regulation through the accumulations of glutamate and proline to provide significant osmo-protection.