Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 1013–1021 | Cite as

Expression of antifreeze proteins in transgenic plants

  • Robin Hightower
  • Cathy Baden
  • Eva Penzes
  • Peter Lund
  • Pamela Dunsmuir


The quality of frozen fruits and vegetables can be compromised by the damaging effects of ice crystal growth within the frozen tissue. Antifreeze proteins in the blood of some polar fishes have been shown to inhibit ice recrystallization at low concentrations. In order to determine whether expression of genes of this type confers improved freezing properties to plant tissue, we have produced transgenic tobacco and tomato plants which express genes encoding antifreeze proteins. Theafa3 antifreeze gene was expressed at high steady-state mRNA levels in leaves from transformed plants, but we did not detect inhibition of ice recrystallization in tissue extracts. However, both mRNA and fusion proteins were detectable in transgenic tomato tissue containing a chimeric gene encoding a fusion protein between truncated staphylococcal protein A and antifreeze protein. Furthermore, ice recrystallization inhibition was detected in this transgenic tissue.

Key words

transformed plants antifreeze protein ice recrystallization 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robin Hightower
    • 1
  • Cathy Baden
    • 1
  • Eva Penzes
    • 1
  • Peter Lund
    • 1
  • Pamela Dunsmuir
    • 1
  1. 1.DNA Plant Technology CorporationOaklandUSA

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