A prominent role for the CBF cold response pathway in configuring the low-temperature metabolome of Arabidopsis

Daniel Cook, Sarah Fowler, Oliver Fiehn, Michael F. Thomashow

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The Arabidopsis CBF cold response pathway has a central role in cold acclimation, the process whereby plants increase in freezing tolerance in response to low nonfreezing temperatures. Here we examined the changes that occur in the Arabidopsis metabolome in response to low temperature and assessed the role of the CBF cold response pathway in bringing about these modifications. Of 434 metabolites monitored by GC-time-of-flight MS, 325 (75%) were found to increase in Arabidopsis Wassilewskija-2 (Ws-2) plants in response to low temperature. Of these 325 metabolites, 256 (79%) also increased in nonacclimated Ws-2 plants in response to overexpression of C-repeat/dehydration responsive element-binding factor (CBF)3. Extensive cold-induced changes also occurred in the metabolome of Arabidopsis Cape Verde Islands-1 (Cvi-1) plants, which were found to be less freezing tolerant than Ws-2 plants. However, low-temperature-induced expression of CBF1, CBF2, CBF3, and CBF-targeted genes was much lower in Cvi-1 than in Ws-2 plants, and the low-temperature metabolome of Cvi-1 plants was depleted in metabolites affected by CBF3 overexpression. Taken together, the results indicate that the metabolome of Arabidopsis is extensively reconfigured in response to low temperature, and that the CBF cold response pathway has a prominent role in this process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15243-15248
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number42
StatePublished - Oct 19 2004
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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