Cold-induced changes in gene expression have been demonstrated in a number of species that vary in freezing tolerance and acclimation capacity. Relative freezing tolerance was measured based on ion leakage for both nonacclimated and acclimated S. commersonii and S. cardiophyllum parents, F1 and backcross progeny segregating for cold tolerance and acclimation capacity. Western blot analyses showed increase in a dehydrin band (47 kD)(antisera courtesy of T. Close) following cold acclimation of cold tolerant S. commersonii, and a slight increase in cold sensitive S. cardiophyllum. Expression of 47 kD cosegregated with non acclimated freezing tolerance but not with acclimated freezing tolerance. Our results show that (i) expression of dehydrins is a heritable trait in the Solanum diploid population, (ii) there is no direct relationship between relative freezing tolerance and the presence or absence of dehydrm protein following cold acclimation and (iii) based on assays measuring the residual activity of the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) enzyme following freezing, the cryoprotective influence of `boiling stable' proteins was species dependent and is related to the freezing tolerance of the species. Supported by USDA/NRI grant 91-3700-6636 to J.P.P. and J.B.B..
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