Chapter

Plant Responses to Abiotic Stress

Volume 4 of the series Topics in Current Genetics pp 151-186

Date:

Signal transduction in plant cold acclimation

  • Pekka HeinoAffiliated withDepartment of Biosciences, Division of Genetics, University of Helsinki, Box 56, 00014 University of Helsinki
  • , E. Tapio PalvaAffiliated withDepartment of Biosciences, Division of Genetics, University of Helsinki, Box 56, 00014 University of Helsinki

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Abstract

Temperate plants respond to low temperature by activating a cold acclimation program leading to enhanced tolerance to freezing temperatures. This acclimation process is accompanied by altered expression of a number of stress response genes controlling production of proteins and metabolites that protect cellular structures and functions from the adverse effects of freezing and freeze-induced cellular dehydration. The changes in cold responsive gene expression are controlled by a set of dedicated transcription factors responding to the low temperature stimulus. We review the complex signal network that is required for sensing and transduction of the low temperature signal to altered gene expression and discuss the interactions of the signal pathways involved.