Four orthologues of the Arabidopsis CBF/Dreb transcriptional activator genes were isolated from the winter Brassica napus, cv. Jet neuf. All four BNCBF clones encode a putative DRE/CRT (LTRE)-binding protein with an AP2 DNA-binding domain, a putative nuclear localization signal and a possible acidic activation domain. Deduced amino acid sequences suggested that BNCBFs5, 7and 16 are very similar to the Arabidopsis CBF1 whereas BNCBF17 is different in that it contains two extra regions of 16 and 21 amino acids in the acidic domain. Transcripts hybridizing specifically to BNCBF17 and to one or more of the other BNCBFs accumulated in leaves within 30 min of cold exposure of the Brassica seedlings and preceded transcript accumulation of the cold-inducible BN28 gene, a Brassica orthologue of the cor6.6 or KIN gene from Arabidopsis. Cold-induced accumulation of BNCBF17 mRNA was rapid but was short-lived compared to transcripts hybridizing to BNCBF5/7/16. Transcripts hybridizing to one or more of BNCBF5/7/16 accumulated at low levels after the plants were subjected to prolonged exposure to salt stress. BNCBF17 was not responsive to salt stress. BNCBF transcript accumulation was similar in both spring and winter Brassica but the persistence of the transcripts in the cold were generally shorter in the spring than in the winter type. BNCBF5 and 17 proteins bind in vitro to the LTRE domains of the cold-inducible BN115 (cor15a orthologue) or BN28 promoters. Differential binding preferences, however, to LTREs between BN115 and BN28 were observed. Mutation of the core CCGAC sequence of the LTRE indicated that BNCBF17 had a lower sequence binding specificity than BNCBF5. Furthermore, experiments indicated that the LTREs were able to drive BNCBF5 and 17 trans-activation of the Lac-Z reporter gene in yeast. We conclude that the BNCBFs reported here could function as trans-acting factors in low-temperature responses in Brassica, controlling the expression of cold-induced genes through an ABA-independent pathway.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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