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Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 84, Issue 1–2, pp 67–82 | Cite as

Hv-CBF2A overexpression in barley accelerates COR gene transcript accumulation and acquisition of freezing tolerance during cold acclimation

  • Zoran Jeknić
  • Katherine A. Pillman
  • Taniya Dhillon
  • Jeffrey S. Skinner
  • Ottó Veisz
  • Alfonso Cuesta-Marcos
  • Patrick M. Hayes
  • Andrew K. Jacobs
  • Tony H. H. Chen
  • Eric J. StockingerEmail author
Article

Abstract

C-Repeat Binding Factors (CBFs) are DNA-binding transcriptional activators of gene pathways imparting freezing tolerance. Poaceae contain three CBF subfamilies, two of which, HvCBF3/CBFIII and HvCBF4/CBFIV, are unique to this taxon. To gain mechanistic insight into HvCBF4/CBFIV CBFs we overexpressed Hv-CBF2A in spring barley (Hordeum vulgare) cultivar ‘Golden Promise’. The Hv-CBF2A overexpressing lines exhibited stunted growth, poor yield, and greater freezing tolerance compared to non-transformed ‘Golden Promise’. Differences in freezing tolerance were apparent only upon cold acclimation. During cold acclimation freezing tolerance of the Hv-CBF2A overexpressing lines increased more rapidly than that of ‘Golden Promise’ and paralleled the freezing tolerance of the winter hardy barley ‘Dicktoo’. Transcript levels of candidate CBF target genes, COR14B and DHN5 were increased in the overexpressor lines at warm temperatures, and at cold temperatures they accumulated to much higher levels in the Hv-CBF2A overexpressors than in ‘Golden Promise’. Hv-CBF2A overexpression also increased transcript levels of other CBF genes at FROST RESISTANCE-H2-H2 (FR-H2) possessing CRT/DRE sites in their upstream regions, the most notable of which was CBF12. CBF12 transcript levels exhibited a relatively constant incremental increase above levels in ‘Golden Promise’ both at warm and cold. These data indicate that Hv-CBF2A activates target genes at warm temperatures and that transcript accumulation for some of these targets is greatly enhanced by cold temperatures.

Keywords

Cold acclimation and freezing tolerance Triticeae cereals Barley CBF transcription factors Gene regulation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was supported in part by grants from the NSF Plant Genome Project (DBI 0110124 and DBI 0701709). Katherine Pillman was supported by a fellowship from the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (Adelaide, Australia). Alfonso Cuesta-Marcos was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (MICINN). Salaries and research support in the Stockinger lab provided by state and federal funds appropriated to The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, the Ohio Plant Biotechnology Consortium, and USDA-CSREES subaward CO396A-F. We thank Dr. Wang Ming-Bo (CSIRO, Australia) for providing pWBVec10a binary vector and Dr. Neil Shirley (The University of Adelaide, Australia) for providing assistance with qRT-PCR. We also thank Dr. Michael F. Thomashow for helpful suggestions and Drs. David Mackey and Esther van der Knaap for critically reviewing the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11103_2013_119_MOESM1_ESM.docx (226 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 226 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zoran Jeknić
    • 1
  • Katherine A. Pillman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  • Taniya Dhillon
    • 3
    • 7
  • Jeffrey S. Skinner
    • 1
    • 8
  • Ottó Veisz
    • 4
  • Alfonso Cuesta-Marcos
    • 5
  • Patrick M. Hayes
    • 5
  • Andrew K. Jacobs
    • 2
  • Tony H. H. Chen
    • 1
  • Eric J. Stockinger
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Horticulture, ALS 4017Oregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  2. 2.Australian Centre for Plant Functional GenomicsUniversity of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Horticulture and Crop ScienceThe Ohio State University/Ohio Agricultural Research and Development CenterWoosterUSA
  4. 4.Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of SciencesMartonvásárHungary
  5. 5.Department of Crop and Soil ScienceOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  6. 6.Gene Regulation LaboratoryCentre for Cancer BiologyAdelaideAustralia
  7. 7.College of Life SciencesUniversity of Dundee at the James Hutton InstituteDundeeUK
  8. 8.Nunhems USA, Inc.Molecular Breeding DivisionDavisUSA

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