Cold impact and acclimation response of Coffea spp. plants

  • J. C. Ramalho
  • F. M. DaMatta
  • A. P. Rodrigues
  • P. Scotti-Campos
  • I. Pais
  • P. Batista-Santos
  • F. L. Partelli
  • A. Ribeiro
  • F. C. Lidon
  • A. E. Leitão
Original Paper


Climate changes implicate an increase in climate instability and the occurrence of extreme temperature in the environment. In this context, the differential triggering of cold tolerance mechanisms among coffee plants, highlighting the existence of important genetic variability, is of up most importance to be exploited in genotype screening and breeding programs. This review deals with the identification and triggering of acclimation mechanisms that shield key functions and structures of photosynthesis, with a particular emphasis on experiments under environmental controlled conditions. These mechanisms allow plants to perform metabolic and structural adjustments, particularly under conditions of a gradual cold exposure, simulating the effects happening in the field under cold periods. Detailed attention is given to the strengthening of the antioxidative system and to the dynamics of the lipid matrix components in chloroplast membranes, since they were found to constitute crucial traits to an effective long-term acclimation and, therefore, to guarantee the economic sustainability of this important tropical cash crop, particularly in cultivation areas prone to the occurrence of low positive temperatures.


Coffee Cold Oxidative stress Plant–environment interactions Reactive oxygen species Scavenging molecules Tolerance 

List of abbreviations


Photosynthetic capacity


Ascorbate peroxidase


Palmitic acid


3-trans-Hexadecenoic acid


Stearic acid


Oleic acid


Linoleic acid


Linolenic acid




Triplet state of Chl


Chlorogenic acid


Caffeoylquinic acid


Internal CO2 concentration


Cu/Zn–superoxide dismutase




Double bond index




Dehydroascorbate reductase


Fatty acid


Estimate of the quantum yield of photosynthetic non-cyclic electron transport


Maximal photochemical efficiency of PS II


Photochemical efficiency of PS II under photosynthetic steady-state conditions




Glutathione reductase


Stomatal conductance to water vapour


Hydrogen peroxide


Light harvesting complex proteins


Malate dehydrogenase


Monodehydroascorbate reductase




Non-photochemical quenching


Singlet oxygen


Superoxide anion radical


Hydroxyl radical


Photochemical quenching


Phosphatidic acid






Pyruvate kinase






Net photosynthetic rate



PSI and II

Photosystems I and II


Reactive oxygen species


Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase


Total fatty acids



The authors thank E. Lopes and I. Palos (IICT) for technical support. This work was supported by Portuguese National Funds of Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, through the Grant SFRH/BPD/78619/2011 (P. Batista-Santos).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Ramalho
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. M. DaMatta
    • 3
  • A. P. Rodrigues
    • 4
  • P. Scotti-Campos
    • 5
  • I. Pais
    • 5
  • P. Batista-Santos
    • 1
  • F. L. Partelli
    • 6
  • A. Ribeiro
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. C. Lidon
    • 2
  • A. E. Leitão
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Grupo Interações Planta-Ambiente (PlantStress), Centro de Ambiente, Agricultura e Desenvolvimento (BioTrop)Instituto de Investigação Científica TropicalOeirasPortugal
  2. 2.Departamento Ciências da Terra, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, CICEGeUniversidade Nova de LisboaMonte de CaparicaPortugal
  3. 3.Dept. Biologia VegetalUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  4. 4.Instituto Superior de Agronomia/Universidade Técnica de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  5. 5.Unidade Estratégica de Investigação e Serviços de Biotecnologia e Recursos GenéticosInstituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (INIAV)OeirasPortugal
  6. 6.Dept. Ciências Agrárias e BiológicasCentro Univ. Norte Espírito Santo Univ.São MateusBrazil

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