Improvement of freezing tolerance in transgenic tobacco leaves by expressing the hiC6 gene

Ken-ichi Honjoh, Hideyuki Shimizu, Noriko Nagaishi, Hiroko Matsumoto, Koushirou Suga, Takahisa Miyamoto, Masayoshi Iio, Shoji Hatano

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16 Citations (Scopus)


A cryoprotective protein, HIC6, was expressed transgenically in tobacco, a cold-sensitive plant, and the localization of the protein within the cell as well as freezing tolerance of the transgenic tobacco was investigated. For constitutive expression of HIC6 in tobacco, its corresponding gene was subcloned into pBI121. Through the transformation with pBI121/hiC6, fifteen transgenic tobacco lines were acquired, out of which twelve lines expressed the HIC6 protein. None of the transgenic tobacco lines, however, showed significant differences in freezing tolerance from the control plants (wild-type and transformed with pBI121) at -1, -3, and -4°C, with the exception that their freezing temperature was -2°C. In order to increase the accumulation level of HIC6, pBE2113 with a stronger promoter was used. Eight lines expressed the protein out of thirteen lines transformed with pBE2113/hiC6. The accumulation levels of the protein were clearly higher in the tobacco plants transformed with pBE2113/hiC6 than in those with pBI121/hiC6. The HIC6 protein seemed to be localized in mitochondria of the transgenic tobacco plants. Freezing-tolerance tests at -1-4°C showed that the degree of electrolyte leakage was significantly lower in the plants with pBE2113/hiC6 than in the control plants. A leaf browning observation also showed that high accumulation of HIC6 significantly suppressed injury caused by freezing to the transgenic tobacco at -3°C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1796-1804
Number of pages9
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry


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