Ecophysiological Changes in a Cold Tolerant Transgenic Tobacco Plant Containing a Zinc Finger Protein (PIF1) Gene

  • Yun, Sung-Chul (Department of Biomedical Sciences, Sun Moon University) ;
  • Kwon, Hawk-Bin (Department of Biomedical Sciences, Sun Moon University)
  • Published : 2008.12.31


The ecophysiological changes occurring upon cold stress were studied using cold tolerant transgenic and wild-type tobacco plants. In a previous study, cold tolerance in tobacco was induced by the introduction of a gene encoding the zinc finger transcription factor, PIF1. Gas-exchange measurements including net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance were performed prior to, in the middle of, and after a cold-stress treatment of $1{\pm}2^{\circ}C$ for 96 h in each of the four seasons. In both transgenic and wild-type plants, gas-exchange parameters were severely decreased in the middle of the cold treatment, but had recovered after 2-3 h of adaptation in a greenhouse. Most t-test comparisons on gas-exchange measurements between the two plant types did not show statistical significance. Wild-type plants had slightly more water-soaked damage on the leaves than the transgenic plants. A light-response curve did not show any differences between the two plant types. However, the curve for assimilation-internal $CO_2$ in wild-type plants showed a much higher slope than that of the PIF1 transgenic plants. This means that the wild-type plant is more capable of regenerating Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) and has greater electron transport capacity. In conclusion, cold-resistant transgenic tobacco plants demonstrated a better recovery of net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance after cold-stress treatment compared to wild-type plants, but the ecophysiological recoveries of the transgenic plants were not statistically significant.


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