Rice ( Oryza sativa L.) is sensitive to chilling particularly at early stages of seedling establishment. Two closely related genes ( OsLti6a , OsLti6b ), which are induced by low temperature during seedling emergence were isolated from a cold tolerant temperate japonica rice cultivar. These genes are closely related to the Arabidopsis rare cold-inducible ( RCI2 ) and barley low-temperature-inducible ( BLT101 ) genes. Based on direct biochemical and indirect physiological evidence and similarity with a conserved protein domain in the Cluster of Orthologous Groups (COG) database (e.g., yeast PMP3 ), the rice genes belong to a class of low-molecular-weight hydrophobic proteins involved in maintaining the integrity of the plasma membrane during cold, dehydration and salt stress conditions. Both genes exhibit a genotype-specific expression signature characterized by early and late stress-inducible expression in tolerant and intolerant genotypes, respectively. The differences in temporal expression profiles are consistent with cultivar differences in cold-induced membrane leakiness and seedling vigor. The presence of CRT/DRE promoter cis -elements is consistent with the synchronized expression of OsLti6 genes with the C-repeat binding factor/drought responsive element-binding protein ( CBF/DREB ) transcriptional activator. The present results indicate that the Oslti6 genes are part of a battery of cold stress defense-related genes regulated by a common switch.
Gene – Elsevier
Published: Jan 3, 2005
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