ABSTRACT: Solanum commersonii and Solanum tuberosum are closely related plant species that differ in their abilities to cold acclimate; whereas S. commersonii increases in freezing tolerance in response to low temperature, S. tuberosum does not. In Arabidopsis thaliana, cold-regulated genes have been shown to contribute to freezing tolerance, including those that comprise the CBF regulon, genes that are controlled by the CBF transcription factors. The low temperature transcriptomes and CBF regulons of S. commersonii and S. tuberosum were therefore compared to determine whether there might be differences that contribute to their differences in ability to cold acclimate. The results indicated that both plants alter gene expression in response to low temperature to similar degrees with similar kinetics and that both plants have CBF regulons composed of hundreds of genes. However, there were considerable differences in the sets of genes that comprised the low temperature transcriptomes and CBF regulons of the two species. Thus differences in cold regulatory programmes may contribute to the differences in freezing tolerance of these two species. However, 53 groups of putative orthologous genes that are cold-regulated in S. commersonii, S. tuberosum, and A. thaliana were identified. Given that the evolutionary distance between the two Solanum species and A. thaliana is 112-156 million years, it seems likely that these conserved cold-regulated genes-many of which encode transcription factors and proteins of unknown function-have fundamental roles in plant growth and development at low temperature.
Journal of Experimental Botany 04/2011; 62(11):3807-19. · 5.36 Impact Factor