Susceptibility to chilling injury prevents the cultivation of many important crops and limits the extended storage of horticultural commodities. Although freezing tolerance is acquired through cold-induced gene expression changes mediated in part by the CBF family of transcriptional activators, whether plant chilling resistance or sensitivity involves the CBF genes is not known. We report here that an Arabidopsis thaliana mutant impaired in the cold-regulated expression of CBF genes and their downstream target genes is sensitive to chilling stress. Expression of CBF3 under a strong constitutive promoter restores chilling resistance to the mutant plants. The mutated gene was cloned and found to encode a nuclear localized RNA helicase. Our results identify a regulator of CBF genes, and demonstrate the importance of gene regulation and the CBF transcriptional activators in plant chilling resistance.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 20 Aug 2002|
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