Journal Article

The Effect of Overexpression of Two <i>Brassica CBF/DREB1</i>-like Transcription Factors on Photosynthetic Capacity and Freezing Tolerance in <i>Brassica napus</i>

Leonid V. Savitch, Ghislaine Allard, Motoaki Seki, Laurian S. Robert, Nicholas A. Tinker, Norman P. A. Huner, Kazuo Shinozaki and Jas Singh

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 46, issue 9, pages 1525-1539
Published in print September 2005 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online September 2005 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI:
The Effect of Overexpression of Two Brassica CBF/DREB1-like Transcription Factors on Photosynthetic Capacity and Freezing Tolerance in Brassica napus

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry


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The effects of overexpression of two Brassica CBF/DREB1-like transcription factors (BNCBF5 and 17) in Brassica napus cv. Westar were studied. In addition to developing constitutive freezing tolerance and constitutively accumulating COR gene mRNAs, BNCBF5- and 17-overexpressing plants also accumulate moderate transcript levels of genes involved in photosynthesis and chloroplast development as identified by microarray and Northern analyses. These include GLK1- and GLK2-like transcription factors involved in chloroplast photosynthetic development, chloroplast stroma cyclophilin ROC4 (AtCYP20–3), β-amylase and triose-P/Pi translocator. In parallel with these changes, increases in photosynthetic efficiency and capacity, pigment pool sizes, increased capacities of the Calvin cycle enzymes, and enzymes of starch and sucrose biosynthesis, as well as glycolysis and oxaloacetate/malate exchange are seen, suggesting that BNCBF overexpression has partially mimicked cold-induced photosynthetic acclimation constitutively. Taken together, these results suggest that BNCBF/DREB1 overexpression in Brassica not only resulted in increased constitutive freezing tolerance but also partially regulated chloroplast development to increase photochemical efficiency and photosynthetic capacity.

Keywords: Brassica; CBF/DREB1; Cold acclimation; Freezing tolerance; GLK; Photosynthesis; AGPase, ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase; COR, cold regulated; EPS, epoxidation state; EST, expressed sequence tag; ETR, electron transport; FBP, fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase; GLK, Golden 2-like transcription factor; LHC, light-harvesting complex; MDH, malate dehydrogenase; MV, methylviologen; PFD, photon flux density; ROS, reactive oxygen species; RT–PCR, reverse transcription–PCR; Rubisco, ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase; SLW, specific leaf weight; SPS, sucrose-phosphate synthase

Journal Article.  10798 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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