Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2004
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: It is generally acknowledged that acclimation to abiotic stress, particularly tolerance to sub-zero temperatures, is extremely complex. It is a dynamic process regulated primarily by temperature and days to weeks are required to achieve maximum cold hardiness. The current review discusses how a systems approach to the study of cold acclimation can greatly assist in gaining a complete picture of how plants acclimate and how cold hardiness can be improved in tender crops. Systems biology, which presently encompasses transcriptomics (the study of global gene expression), proteomics (the study of global protein expression, and metabolomics (the study of global changes in metabolites), is a branch of biology whose objective is to elucidate biological properties that emerge as a result of the interaction between systems elements. Current research in systems biology as it relates to environmental stress tolerance is discussed and it is proposed that global information from all these elements (transcript profiling, protein profiling, and metabolite profiling) will be needed in order to develop a comprehensive knowledge of how plants adapt to adverse environmental conditions.