Investigating the Role of Lipid Metabolism in Chilling and Freezing Tolerance

  • Jim Tokuhisa
  • Jingrui Wu
  • Martine Miquel
  • Zhanguo Xin
  • John Browse


Within the broader context of how lipid composition affects the cell biology and physiology of plants, the question of how membrane unsaturation affects a plant’s ability to tolerate low-temperature stresses has a long and distinguished history. A series of Arabidopsis mutants with defects in lipid metabolism has provided important examples of how membrane fatty acid composition can affect plant temperature responses, although it is not complete clear how these specialized examples relate to chilling and freezing tolerance in horticulture. In this review, we will first provide a general introduction to the lipid mutants and then consider in detail some of the studies that have demonstrated the requirements of polyunsaturated membranes for proper growth and function of plants at chilling temperatures. A specific screen for mutants that are damaged by chilling has also been undertaken and the results and prospects for this approach are discussed.


Phosphatidic Acid Freezing Tolerance Chilling Injury Chilling Tolerance Ethyl Methane Sulfonate 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jim Tokuhisa
    • 1
  • Jingrui Wu
    • 1
  • Martine Miquel
    • 1
  • Zhanguo Xin
    • 1
  • John Browse
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Biological ChemistryWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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