Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 131–144

Characterization and differential expression of dhn/lea/rab-like genes during cold acclimation and drought stress in Arabidopsis thaliana

  • Björn V. Welin
  • Åke Olson
  • Maria Nylander
  • E. Tapio Palva


We have characterized cDNAs for two new dhn/lea/rab (dehydrin, late embryogenesis-abundant, responsive to ABA)-related genes from Arabidopsis thaliana. The two genes were strongly induced in plants exposed to low temperature (4 °C) and were accordingly designated lti45 and lti30 (low temperature-induced). The lti45 gene product contains the conserved serine stretch and three lysine-rich repeats characteristic of DHN/LEA/RAB proteins and is very similar to another low temperature-responsive protein of A. thaliana, COR47 [17]. Both proteins have the same repeat structure and an overall amino acid identity of 64%. This structural similarity of the proteins and the tandem array of the genes suggest that this gene pair arose through a duplication. The other polypeptide, LTI30, consists of several lysine-rich repeats, a structure found in CAP85, a low temperature-and water stress-responsive protein in spinach [41] and similar proteins found in wheat [20].

The expression pattern of the five dhn/lea/rab-related genes (cor47, dhnX, lti30, lti45 and rab18) identified so far in A. thaliana, was characterized in plants exposed to low temperature, drought and abscisic acid (ABA). Expression of both lti30 and lti45 was mainly responsive to low temperature similar to cor47. The lti45 and lti30 genes show only a weak response to ABA in contrast to cor47, which is moderately induced by this hormone. The three genes were also induced in severely water-stressed plants although the expression of lti30 and lti45 was rather low. In contrast to these mainly low temperature-induced genes, the expression of rab18 was strongly induced both in water-stressed and ABA-treated plants but was only slightly responsive to cold. The dhnX gene showed a very different expression pattern. It was not induced with any of the treatments tested but exhibited a significant constitutive expression. The low-temperature induction of the genes in the first group, lti30 and lti45, is ABA-independent, deduced from experiments with the ABA-deficient (aba-1) and ABA-insensitive (abi1) mutants of A. thaliana, whereas the induction of rab18 is ABA-mediated. The expression of dhnX was not significantly affected in the ABA mutants.

Key words

abscisic acid Arabidopsis thaliana cold acclimation LEA RAB water stress 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Björn V. Welin
    • 1
  • Åke Olson
    • 1
  • Maria Nylander
    • 1
  • E. Tapio Palva
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Genetics, Uppsala Genetic CenterSwedish University of Agricultural SciencesUppsalaSweden

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