Genes encoding chitinase-antifreeze proteins are regulated by cold and expressed by all cell types in winter rye shoots

Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada
Physiologia Plantarum (Impact Factor: 3.26). 08/2001; 112(3):359-371. DOI: 10.1034/j.1399-3054.2001.1120309.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT One group of antifreeze proteins (AFPs) is composed of two chitinases that accumulate in the apoplast of winter rye leaves during cold acclimation. In this study, the 28- and 35-kDa chitinase-AFPs were localized in nonacclimated and cold-acclimated rye leaves by immunoelectron microscopy with an antiserum produced against the purified winter rye 35-kDa chitinase-AFP. In cold-acclimated winter rye leaves, labelled chitinase-AFPs were abundant in the walls of epidermal, parenchymal sheath and mesophyll cells and xylem vessels, while less label was present in walls of vascular parenchyma cells. In contrast, chitinase labelling was essentially absent in the nonacclimated cells except in xylem vessels. As shown by RNA blotting, the transcripts of chitinase-AFPs accumulated to a high level in rye leaves during cold acclimation, to a lesser extent in crowns and were not detectable in roots. mRNA transcripts of the 28-kDa chitinase-AFP were localized in rye leaves by in situ hybridization. The chitinase-AFP transcripts were found in the same cell types as the protein itself. We conclude that all metabolically active cell types in cold-acclimated winter rye leaves and crowns are able to synthesize chitinase-AFPs and secrete them into adjacent cell walls, where they may interact with ice to delay its propagation through the plant and modify its growth.

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