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Components of the Arabidopsis C-repeat/dehydration-responsive element binding factor cold-response pathway are conserved in Brassica napus and other plant species

Jaglo, K.R., Kleff, S., Amundsen, K.L., Zhang, X., Haake, V., Zhang, J.Z., Deits, T., Thomashow, M.F.
Plant physiology 2001 v.127 no.3 pp. 910-917
RNA, acclimation, genes, Brassica napus, gene expression, Triticum aestivum, leaves, transcription factors, Arabidopsis, quantitative analysis, Secale cereale, amino acid sequences, temperature, Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, genetic transformation, plant breeding, protein synthesis, regulatory sequences, transgenic plants, stress response, protein content, cold tolerance
Many plants increase in freezing tolerance in response to low, nonfreezing temperatures, a phenomenon known as cold acclimation. Cold acclimation in Arabidopsis involves rapid cold-induced expression of the C-repeat/dehydration-responsive element binding factor (CBF) transcriptional activators followed by expression of CBF-targeted genes that increase freezing tolerance. Here, we present evidence for a CBF cold-response pathway in Brassica napus. We show that B. napus encodes CBF-like genes and that transcripts for these genes accumulate rapidly in response to low temperature followed closely by expression of the cold-regulated Bn115 gene, an ortholog of the Arabidopsis CBF-targeted COR15a gene. Moreover, we show that constitutive overexpression of the Arabidopsis CBF genes in transgenic B. napus plants induces expression of orthologs of Arabidopsis CBF-targeted genes and increases the freezing tolerance of both nonacclimated and cold-acclimated plants. Transcripts encoding CBF-like proteins were also found to accumulate rapidly in response to low temperature in wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv Norstar) and rye (Secale cereale L. cv Puma), which cold acclimate, as well as in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum var. Bonny Best, Castle Mart, Micro-Tom, and D Huang), a freezing-sensitive plant that does not cold acclimate. An alignment of the CBF proteins from Arabidopsis, B. napus, wheat, rye, and tomato revealed the presence of conserved amino acid sequences, PKK/RPAGRxKFxETRHP and DSAWR, that bracket the AP2/EREBP DNA binding domains of the proteins and distinguish them from other members of the AP2/EREBP protein family. We conclude that components of the CBF cold-response pathway are highly conserved in flowering plants and not limited to those that cold acclimate.