Identification of ICE2, a gene involved in cold acclimation which determines freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana

Oksana V Fursova, Gennady V Pogorelko, Valentin A Tarasov
Gene 2009 January 15, 429 (1): 98-103
Several transcription factors are presently known to regulate the response to cold stress. Here we describe a new positive regulator, ICE2, which is a transcription factor of the bHLH family that participates in the response to deep freezing through the cold acclimation-dependent pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana plants. An overexpression of ICE2 (as we named the At1g12860 locus) in transgenic Arabidopsis plants results in increased tolerance to deep freezing stress after cold acclimation. The seeds of transgenic lines that overexpressed ICE2 were characterized by decreased levels of carbohydrate and increased levels of lipids. The analysis of expression of CBF1 gene (also known as DREB1B), which have been shown to be required for the complete development of cold acclimation response in Arabidopsis indicated a difference between expression of the CBF1 gene in transgenic plants and the wild-type control plants, Col-0. These results suggested that the CBF1 transcription factor, known as one of the regulators of the cold stress response, has a dominant role in providing freezing tolerance in transgenic plants characterized by overexpression of ICE2.

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