Low temperature is a primary determinant of plant growth and survival. Using accessions of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) originating from Scandinavia to the Cape Verde Islands, we show that freezing tolerance of natural accessions correlates with habitat winter temperatures, identifying low temperature as an important selective pressure for Arabidopsis. Combined metabolite and transcript profiling show that during cold exposure, global changes of transcripts, but not of metabolites, correlate with the ability of Arabidopsis to cold acclimate. There are, however, metabolites and transcripts, including several transcription factors, that correlate with freezing tolerance, indicating regulatory pathways that may be of primary importance for this trait. These data identify that enhanced freezing tolerance is associated with the down-regulation of photosynthesis and hormonal responses and the induction of flavonoid metabolism, provide evidence for naturally increased nonacclimated freezing tolerance due to the constitutive activation of the C-repeat binding factors pathway, and identify candidate transcriptional regulators that correlate with freezing tolerance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science