Global transcriptome profiles of Camellia sinensis during cold acclimation.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Tea is the most popular non-alcoholic health beverage in the world. The tea plant (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) needs to undergo a cold acclimation process to enhance its freezing tolerance in winter. Changes that occur at the molecular level in response to low temperatures are poorly understood in tea plants. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of cold acclimation, we employed RNA-Seq and digital gene expression (DGE) technologies to the study of genome-wide expression profiles during cold acclimation in tea plants. RESULTS: Using the Illumina sequencing platform, we obtained approximately 57.35 million RNA-Seq reads. These reads were assembled into 216,831 transcripts, with an average length of 356 bp and an N50 of 529 bp. In total, 1,770 differentially expressed transcripts were identified, of which 1,168 were up-regulated and 602 down-regulated. These include a group of cold sensor or signal transduction genes, cold-responsive transcription factor genes, plasma membrane stabilization related genes, osmosensing-responsive genes, and detoxification enzyme genes. DGE and quantitative RT-PCR analysis further confirmed the results from RNA-Seq analysis. Pathway analysis indicated that the "carbohydrate metabolism pathway" and the "calcium signaling pathway" might play a vital role in tea plants' responses to cold stress. CONCLUSIONS: Our study presents a global survey of transcriptome profiles of tea plants in response to low, non-freezing temperatures and yields insights into the molecular mechanisms of tea plants during the cold acclimation process. It could also serve as a valuable resource for relevant research on cold-tolerance and help to explore the cold-related genes in improving the understanding of low-temperature tolerance and plant-environment interactions.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Cold acclimation modifies the balance of the energy absorbed and metabolized in the dark processes of photosynthesis, which may affect the expression of cold-regulated (COR) genes. At the same time, a gradual acclimation to the relatively high light conditions is observed, thereby minimizing the potential for photo-oxidative damage. As a result, the resistance to photoinhibition in the cold has often been identified as a trait closely related to freezing tolerance. Using four barley genotypes that differentially express both traits, the effect of cold acclimation on freezing tolerance and high-light tolerance was studied together with the expression of COR14b, one of the best-characterized barley COR genes. METHODS: Plants were cold acclimated for 2 weeks at 2 degrees C. Freezing tolerance was studied by means of electrolyte leakage. Changes in photosynthetic apparatus and high-light tolerance were monitored by means of chlorophyll fluorescence. Accumulation of COR14b and some proteins important in photosynthetic acclimation to cold were studied with western analysis. COR14b transcript accumulation during cold acclimation was assessed with real-time PCR. KEY RESULTS: Cold acclimation increased both freezing tolerance and high-light tolerance, especially when plants were treated with high light after non-lethal freezing. In all plants, cold acclimation triggered the increase in photosynthetic capacity during high-light treatment. In two plants that were characterized by higher high-light tolerance but lower freezing tolerance, higher accumulation of COR14b transcript and protein was observed after 7 d and 14 d of cold acclimation, while a higher transient induction of COR14b expression was observed in freezing-tolerant plants during the first day of cold acclimation. High-light tolerant plants were also characterized with a higher level of PsbS accumulation and more efficient dissipation of excess light energy. CONCLUSIONS: Accumulation of COR14b in barley seems to be important for resistance to combined freezing and high-light tolerance, but not for freezing tolerance per se.
Project description:Tea [Camellia sinensis (L) O. Kuntze, Theaceae] is one of the most popular non-alcoholic beverages worldwide. Cold stress is one of the most severe abiotic stresses that limit tea plants' growth, survival and geographical distribution. However, the genetic regulatory network and signaling pathways involved in cold stress responses in tea plants remain unearthed. Using RNA-Seq, DGE and sRNA-Seq technologies, we performed an integrative analysis of miRNA and mRNA expression profiling and their regulatory network of tea plants under chilling (4?) and freezing (-5?) stress. Differentially expressed (DE) miRNA and mRNA profiles were obtained based on fold change analysis, miRNAs and target mRNAs were found to show both coherent and incoherent relationships in the regulatory network. Furthermore, we compared several key pathways (e.g., 'Photosynthesis'), GO terms (e.g., 'response to karrikin') and transcriptional factors (TFs, e.g., DREB1b/CBF1) which were identified as involved in the early chilling and/or freezing response of tea plants. Intriguingly, we found that karrikins, a new group of plant growth regulators, and ?-primeverosidase (BPR), a key enzyme functionally relevant with the formation of tea aroma might play an important role in both early chilling and freezing response of tea plants. Quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis further confirmed the results from RNA-Seq and sRNA-Seq analysis. This is the first study to simultaneously profile the expression patterns of both miRNAs and mRNAs on a genome-wide scale to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of early responses of tea plants to cold stress. In addition to gaining a deeper insight into the cold resistant characteristics of tea plants, we provide a good case study to analyse mRNA/miRNA expression and profiling of non-model plant species using next-generation sequencing technology.
Project description:Basic region/leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors play vital roles in the abiotic stress response of plants. However, little is known about the function of bZIP genes in Camellia sinensis .CsbZIP6 was overexpressed in Arabidopsis thaliana . Effects of CsbZIP6 overexpression on abscisic acid (ABA) sensitivity, freezing tolerance and the expression of cold-responsive genes in arabidopsis were studied.CsbZIP6 was induced during cold acclimation in tea plant. Constitutive overexpression of CsbZIP6 in arabidopsis lowered the plants' tolerance to freezing stress and ABA exposure during seedling growth. Compared with wild-type (WT) plants, CsbZIP6 overexpression (OE) lines exhibited increased levels of electrolyte leakage (EL) and malondialdehyde (MDA) contents, and reduced levels of total soluble sugars (TSS) under cold stress conditions. Microarray analysis of transgenic arabidopsis revealed that many differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between OE lines and WT plants could be mapped to 'response to cold' and 'response to water deprivation' terms based on Gene Ontology analysis. Interestingly, CsbZIP6 overexpression repressed most of the cold- and drought-responsive genes as well as starch metabolism under cold stress conditions.The data suggest that CsbZIP6 functions as a negative regulator of the cold stress response in A. thaliana , potentially by down-regulating cold-responsive genes.
Project description:Cold environment is the main constraint for tea plants (Camellia sinensis) distribution and tea farming. We identified two tea cultivars, called var. sinensis cv. Shuchazao (SCZ) with a high cold-tolerance and var. assamica cv. Yinghong9 (YH9) with low cold-tolerance. To better understand the response mechanism of tea plants under cold stress for improving breeding, we compared physiological and biochemical responses, and associated genes expression in response to 7-day and 14-day cold acclimation, followed by 7-day de-acclimation in these two tea cultivars. We found that the low EL50, low Fv/Fm, and high sucrose and raffinose accumulation are responsible for higher cold tolerance in SCZ comparing with YH9. We then measured the expression of 14 key homologous genes, known as involved in these responses in other plants, for each stages of treatment in both cultivars using RT-qPCR. Our results suggested that the increased expression of CsCBF1 and CsDHNs coupling with the accumulation of sucrose play key roles in conferring higher cold resistance in SCZ. Our findings have revealed key genes regulation responsible for cold resistance, which help to understand the cold-resistant mechanisms and guide breeding in tea plants.
Project description:Recently, intensive global climate change has become a major factor impacting plant survival during the winter. Freezing cold temperatures during the winter and abnormal temperature fluctuations during the winter and early spring are the most harmful ambient factors threatening tea plant winter survival and currently cause marked economic losses in tea production. In this study, by simulating natural climate change, we established cold acclimation (CA) and rapid cold stress (after CA) conditions to comprehensively investigate the transcriptome changes involved in CA and rapid cold stress. Electrolyte leakage (EL) rate and expression profile clustering analyses confirmed that the experimental design was valid. Comparative transcription analysis identified many differentially expressed genes (DEGs) involved in both processes. Time course and pathway enrichment analyses further revealed the physiological changes that occur during the initial period of CA and the cell wall changes that occur throughout the entire CA process; these changes play crucial roles in increasing freezing tolerance during this process. Compared with CA, different cold response mechanisms were rapidly activated under cold stress; however, the subsequent accumulation of reactive oxygen species, which affect multiple aspects, caused by freezing cold could be the harshest factor impairing tea leaves. Moreover, we investigated 60 DEGs shared by both processes and highlighted the importance of KCSs, HXXXD-type acyl-transferase family proteins, NAC080, SWEETs and ENOs in the responses to various cold conditions. These results greatly improve our knowledge of cold response mechanisms in tea plants and provide meaningful information for functional studies investigating cold tolerance-related genes. Overall design: Total of 8 biosamples including cold acclimation treatment and freezing cold treatment, triplication were applied. Therefore 24 microarray were used in this study.
Project description:During low temperature exposure, Arabidopsis thaliana and many other plants from temperate climates increase in freezing tolerance in a process termed cold acclimation. However, the correct timing and rate of deacclimation, resulting in loss of freezing tolerance and initiation of growth is equally important for plant fitness and survival. While the molecular basis of cold acclimation has been investigated in detail, much less information is available about deacclimation. We have characterized the responses of 10 natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana that vary widely in their freezing tolerance, to deacclimation conditions. Sugar, proline and transcript levels declined sharply over three days in all accessions after transfer of cold acclimated plants to ambient temperatures, while freezing tolerance only declined in tolerant accessions. Correlations between freezing tolerance and the expression levels of COR genes and the content of glucose, fructose and sucrose, as well as many correlations among transcript and solute levels, that were highly significant in cold acclimated plants, were lost during deacclimation. Other correlations persisted, indicating that after three days of deacclimation, plant metabolism had not completely reverted back to the non-acclimated state. These data provide the basis for further molecular and genetic studies to unravel the regulation of deacclimation.
Project description:Photosynthetic acclimation to cold conditions is an important factor influencing freezing tolerance of plants. Photosynthetic enzyme activities increase as part of a photochemical mechanism underlying photosynthetic acclimation to low temperatures. Additionally, a non-photochemical mechanism may be activated to minimize photooxidative damage. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that differences in stomatal conductance in Hordeum vulgare plants with contrasting freezing tolerances induce various strategies for photosynthetic acclimation to cold stress. Different stomatal behaviors during the prehardening step resulted in diverse plant reactions to low-temperature stress. Plants with a relatively low freezing tolerance exhibited decreased stomatal conductance, resulting in decreased photochemical activity, faster induction of the non-photochemical mechanism, and downregulated expression of two Rubisco activase (RcaA) splicing variants. In contrast, plants with a relatively high freezing tolerance that underwent a prehardening step maintained the stomatal conductance at control level and exhibited delayed photochemical activity and RcaA expression decrease, and increased Rubisco activity, which increased net photosynthetic rate. Thus, in barley, the induction of photoinhibition avoidance (i.e., non-photochemical photoacclimation mechanism) is insufficient for an effective cold acclimation. An increase in cold-induced net photosynthetic rate due to open stomata is also necessary.
Project description:BACKGROUND: ICE (Inducer of CBF Expression) family genes play an important role in the regulation of cold tolerance pathways. In an earlier study, we isolated the gene CdICE1 from Chrysanthemum dichrum and demonstrated that freezing tolerance was enhanced by CdICE1 overexpression. Therefore, we sought to determine the mechanism by which ICE1 family genes participate in freezing tolerance. RESULTS: Using EMSA (Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay) and yeast one-hybrid assays, we confirmed that CdICE1 binds specifically to the MYC element in the CdDREBa promoter and activates transcription. In addition, overexpression of CdICE1 enhanced Arabidopsis freezing tolerance after transition from 23°C to 4°C or 16°C. We found that after acclimation to 4°C, CdICE1, like Arabidopsis AtICE1, promoted expression of CBFs (CRT/DRE Binding Factor) and their genes downstream involved in freezing tolerance, including COR15a (Cold-Regulated 15a), COR6.6, and RD29a (Responsive to Dessication 29a). Interestingly, we observed that CdICE1-overexpressing plants experienced significant reduction in miR398. In addition, its target genes CSD1 (Copper/zinc Superoxide Dismutase 1) and CSD2 showed inducible expression under acclimation at 16°C, indicating that the miR398-CSD pathway was involved in the induction of freezing tolerance. CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that CdICE1-mediated freezing tolerance occurs via different pathways, involving either CBF or miR398, under acclimation at two different temperatures.
Project description:Though winter-hardiness is a complex trait, freezing tolerance was proved to be its main component. Species from temperate regions acquire tolerance to freezing in a process of cold acclimation, which is associated with the exposure of plants to low but non-freezing temperatures. However, mechanisms of cold acclimation in Lolium-Festuca grasses, important for forage production in Europe, have not been fully recognized. Thus, two L. multiflorum/F. arundinacea introgression forms with distinct freezing tolerance were used herein as models in the comprehensive research to dissect these mechanisms in that group of plants. The work was focused on: (i) analysis of cellular membranes' integrity; (ii) analysis of plant photosynthetic capacity (chlorophyll fluorescence; gas exchange; gene expression, protein accumulation, and activity of selected enzymes of the Calvin cycle); (iii) analysis of plant antioxidant capacity (reactive oxygen species generation; gene expression, protein accumulation, and activity of selected enzymes); and (iv) analysis of Cor14b accumulation, under cold acclimation. The more freezing tolerant introgression form revealed a higher integrity of membranes, an ability to cold acclimate its photosynthetic apparatus and higher water use efficiency after three weeks of cold acclimation, as well as a higher capacity of the antioxidant system and a lower content of reactive oxygen species in low temperature.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Plants from temperate regions are able to withstand freezing temperatures due to a process known as cold acclimation, which is a prior exposure to low, but non-freezing temperatures. During acclimation, a large number of genes are induced, bringing about biochemical changes in the plant, thought to be responsible for the subsequent increase in freezing tolerance. Key regulatory proteins in this process are the CBF1, 2 and 3 transcription factors which control the expression of a set of target genes referred to as the "CBF regulon". RESULTS: To assess the role of the CBF genes in cold acclimation and freezing tolerance of Arabidopsis thaliana, the CBF genes and their promoters were sequenced in the Versailles core collection, a set of 48 accessions that maximizes the naturally-occurring genetic diversity, as well as in the commonly used accessions Col-0 and WS. Extensive polymorphism was found in all three genes. Freezing tolerance was measured in all accessions to assess the variability in acclimated freezing tolerance. The effect of sequence polymorphism was investigated by evaluating the kinetics of CBF gene expression, as well as that of a subset of the target COR genes, in a set of eight accessions with contrasting freezing tolerance. Our data indicate that CBF genes as well as the selected COR genes are cold induced in all accessions, irrespective of their freezing tolerance. Although we observed different levels of expression in different accessions, CBF or COR gene expression was not closely correlated with freezing tolerance. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that the Versailles core collection contains significant natural variation with respect to freezing tolerance, polymorphism in the CBF genes and CBF and COR gene expression. Although there tends to be more CBF and COR gene expression in tolerant accessions, there are exceptions, reinforcing the idea that a complex network of genes is involved in freezing tolerance and that the CBF genes alone cannot explain all differences in phenotype. Our study also highlights the difficulty in assessing the function of single transcription factors that are members of closely related gene families.