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Membrane sterols and genes of sterol biosynthesis are involved in the response of Triticum aestivum seedlings to cold stress

Valitova, Julia, Renkova, Albina, Mukhitova, Fakhima, Dmitrieva, Svetlana, Beckett, Richard P., Minibayeva, Farida V.
Plant physiology and biochemistry 2019 v.142 pp. 452-459
Triticum aestivum, autophagy, biosynthesis, cold, cold shock response, cold stress, cold tolerance, genes, glycolipids, leaves, oxidative stress, roots, seedlings, sterols, stress tolerance, temperature, wheat
Cold stress can significantly alter the composition and functioning of the major membrane lipids in plants. However, the roles of the sterol component of plant membranes in stress tolerance remain unclear. In the work presented here we investigated the role of sterols in the response of wheat to cold stress. Initial experiments demonstrated that the roots and leaves of wheat seedlings are differentially sensitive to low positive temperatures. In the roots, cold stress induced disturbance of membrane integrity and accumulation of ROS followed by the induction of autophagy. The absence of such changes in leaves suggests that in wheat, the roots are more sensitive to cold than the leaves. The roots display a time-dependent parabolic pattern of cold stress response, characterized by raised levels of sterols and markers of oxidative stress during short-term treatment, and a decline of these parameters after prolonged treatment. MβCD-induced sterol depletion aggravated the negative effects of cold on the roots. In the leaves the changes also displayed parabolic patterns, with significant changes occurring in 24-ethyl sterols and major PLs. Constitutively high levels of sterols, glycolipids and PLs, and up-regulation of TaSMTs in the leaves may provide membrane stability and cold tolerance. Taken together, results suggest that sterols play important roles in the response of wheat seedlings to cold stress.