Seasonal pattern of cold tolerance and proteins were studied in the leaves of sibling deciduous and evergreen peach (Prunus persica). In contrast to deciduous peach that undergoes endodormancy in fall, evergreen peach does not (leaves are retained and shoot tips elongate under favorable conditions) (Arora et al., Plant Physiol. 99:1562-1568). Cold tolerance (LT50) was assessed using electrolyte leakage method. Proteins were separated by SDS-PAGE. Electroblots were probed with anti-dehydrin (Dr. T. Close) and anti-19 kD, peach bark storage protein (BSP) antibodies. LT50 of leaves successively increased from about -7C (18 Aug.) to -15C and -11.5C (23 Oct.) in deciduous and evergreen genotypes, respectively. The most apparent change in the protein profiles was the accumulation of a 60-kD protein during cold acclimation in the leaves of deciduous trees; however, it did not change significantly in evergreen peach. Immunoblots indicate that 60-kD protein is a dehydrin protein. PAGE and immunoblots indicated that 19-kD BSP disappeared progressively during summer through fall in the leaves of deciduous peach, but accumulated to large amounts in bark tissues. Similar inverse relationship for its accumulation in leaf vs. bark tissue was not evident in evergreen peach. Results indicate that BSP expression may be regulated by altered source/sink relationship.
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