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  • Author or Editor: Chon-Chong Lim x
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Many reports have shown the accumulation of specific proteins associated with cold acclimation in plants. However, there is a scarcity of data on the physiological and/or biochemical changes associated with deacclimation process. This study was initiated to determine protein changes specifically associated with deacclimation in Rhododendron. Current-year leaves were collected from three Rhododendron cultivars (`Chionoides', `Grumpy Yellow', and `Vulcanís Flame'; ≈4-year-old rooted cuttings) during natural non-acclimated (June), cold-acclimated (January), and deacclimated (May) state. Leaf freezing tolerance was evaluated using controlled freezing protocol (Lim et al. 1998, J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 123:246–252). Seasonal SDS-PAGE profiles exhibited a distinct accumulation of 27 kDa protein in deacclimated and nonacclimated tissues, but this protein was essentially undetectable in cold acclimated tissues of all three cultivars. Further characterization of this polypeptide, labeled as RhDAP27 (for rhododendron deacclimation protein), revealed that it has an iso-electric point of 6.5, has a compositional bias for Glu/Gln (13.9%), His (11.4%), Gly (11%), Ala (10%), Lys (8.3%), and Asp/Asn (8.1%)—hydrophilic amino acids constitutedabout 54% of the total amino acids while 40% were nonpolar, aliphatic amino acids (Gly, Ala, Val, Leu, Ile, Pro) and only 6% were aromatic amino acids (Phe and Tyr). Micro-sequencing of the four peptides produced by partial cleavage of RhDAP27 revealed a striking homology of RhDAP27 with two proteins (from Mesembryanthemum crystallinum and Pinus taeda) that belong to the family of ABA stress ripening/water deficit stress inducible proteins.

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Mode of inheritance of cold hardiness (CH) in woody perennials is not wellunderstood. This study was undertaken to determine the mode of inheritance and gene action of CH in blueberry (Vaccinium section Cyanococcus). Two testcross populations (segregating for CH) derived from interspecific hybrids of V. darrowi (drw) × V. caesariense (csr) were used. Plants were cold-acclimated by a 4-week exposure to 4°C. Bud CH (LT50) was defined as the temperature causing 50% injury (visual) when subjected to controlled freeze–thaw. Results show that the drw and csr parents had an LT50 of –13° and –20°C, respectively. The F1 population exhibited mean LT50 of –14.7°C. The csr and drw testcross populations had a mean LT50 of –18° (39 individuals) and –14°C (33 individuals), respectively. Individuals of each population were distributed between parental values with center of distribution skewed toward the testcross parent. Since individuals having LT50s as same as the recurrent parents were present in each population of only 33–39 plants, data suggest that CH is determined by relatively few genes. To determine gene action, the estimates for various genetic parameters (calculated from joint scaling test) were used in generation means analysis to test various models. Results indicate that CH in blueberry can be best explained by simple-additive dominance model, whereas models including epistatic components did not satisfactorily explain the data.

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