Arabidopsis CBF1 Overexpression Induces COR Genes and Enhances Freezing Tolerance

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Many plants, including Arabidopsis, show increased resistance to freezing after they have been exposed to low nonfreezing temperatures.This response, termed cold acclimation, is associated with the induction of COR (cold-regulated) genes mediated by the C-repeat/drought-responsive element (CRT/DRE) DNA regulatory element. Increased expression of Arabidopsis CBF1, a transcriptional activator that binds to the CRT/DRE sequence, induced COR gene expression and increased the freezing tolerance of nonacclimated Arabidopsis plants. We conclude that CBF1 is a likely regulator of the cold acclimation response, controlling the level of COR gene expression, which in turn promotes tolerance to freezing.

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