Submitted to: International Society for Horticultural Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2002
Publication Date: August 11, 2002
Citation: Rowland, L.J., Mehra, S., Panta, G., Parmentier-Line, C. 2002. Molecular genetic and physiological analysis of the cold-responsive dehydrins of blueberry. International Society for Horticultural Science Meeting.
The blueberry industry in the U.S. suffers significant losses due to environmental factors with a dehydrative component, such as drought and freezing stress. In fact, an increase in cold hardiness has been identified as one of the major needs of the blueberry industry. We are cloning and characterizing expression of cold-responsive genes from blueberry. We are using a systematic molecular genetic approach to identify genes that are up-regulated during cold acclimation and, more recently, have begun using a genomic approach to identify genes that are expressed during cold acclimation. Three dehydrins (group of proteins induced by environmental stimuli that have a dehydrative component) of 65, 60, and 14 kDa are the predominant up-regulated proteins in cold acclimated floral buds of blueberry. Recent expression studies indicate that (1) blueberry dehydrins are induced by cold stress in all organs but by drought stress in only stems; (2) dehydrin accumulation correlates positively with cold tolerance but not with drought tolerance; and (3) dehydrin expression in blueberry cell suspension cultures is different from that in whole plants. Several cDNA clones representing members of the dehydrin gene family have been isolated. Finally, a genomic approach to the study of cold-responsive genes in blueberry has been undertaken. Analysis of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from a subtracted cDNA library representing genes expressed at a higher level during cold acclimation than before acclimation is underway.