Journal Article

Cryobehavior of the Plasma Membrane in Protoplasts Isolated from Cold-Acclimated <i>Arabidopsis</i> Leaves is Related to Surface Area Regulation

Tomokazu Yamazaki, Yukio Kawamura and Matsuo Uemura

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 49, issue 6, pages 944-957
Published in print June 2008 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online June 2008 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcn068
Cryobehavior of the Plasma Membrane in Protoplasts Isolated from Cold-Acclimated Arabidopsis Leaves is Related to Surface Area Regulation

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

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Extracellular freezing in plants results in dehydration and mechanical stresses upon the plasma membrane. Plants that acquire enhanced freezing tolerance after cold acclimation can withstand these two physical stresses. To understand the tolerance to freeze-induced physical stresses, the cryobehavior of the plasma membrane was observed using protoplasts isolated from cold-acclimated Arabidopsis thaliana leaves with the combination of a lipophilic fluorescent dye FM 1-43 and cryomicroscopy. We found that many vesicular structures appeared in the cytoplasmic region near the plasma membrane just after extracellular freezing occurred. These structures, referred to as freeze-induced vesicular structures (FIVs), then developed horizontally near the plasma membrane during freezing. There was a strong correlation between the increase in individual FIV size and the decrease in the surface area of the protoplasts during freezing. Some FIVs fused with their neighbors as the temperature decreased. Occasionally, FIVs fused with the plasma membrane, which may be necessary to relax the stress upon the plasma membrane during freezing. Vesicular structures resembling FIVs were also induced when protoplasts were mechanically pressed between a coverslip and slide glass. Fewer FIVs formed when protoplasts were subjected to hyperosmotic solution, suggesting that FIV formation is associated with mechanical stress rather than dehydration. Collectively, these results suggest that cold-acclimated plant cells may balance membrane tension in the plasma membrane by regulating the surface area. This enables plant cells to withstand the direct mechanical stress imposed by extracellular freezing.

Keywords: Cold acclimation; Freezing tolerance; Plasma membrane; Surface area regulation

Journal Article.  6945 words.  Illustrated.

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

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