Low temperature promotes intron retention in two e-cor genes of durum wheat

Planta. 2005 Jul;221(5):705-15. doi: 10.1007/s00425-004-1475-3. Epub 2005 Jan 22.


Following the screening of a suppression subtractive library developed from durum wheat plants exposed to low temperature for 6 h, two early cold-regulated (e-cor) genes have been isolated. These genes, coding putatively for a ribokinase (7H8) and a C3H2C3 RING-finger protein (6G2), were characterized by the stress-induced retention of a subset of introns in the mature mRNA. This feature was dependent on cold for 7H8 and on cold and dehydration for 6G2. When other genes, such as the stress-related gene WCOR410c, coding for a dehydrin (one intron), or a gene coding for a putative ATP binding cassette transporter (16 introns) were analyzed, no cold-dependent intron retention was observed. Cold-induced intron retention was not observed in mutants defective in the chloroplast development; nevertheless treatment with cycloheximide in the absence of cold was able to promote intron retention for the 7H8 e-cor gene. These results suggest that the cold-induced intron retention reflects the response of the spliceosoma to specific environmental signals transduced to the splicing protein factors through a chloroplast-dependent pathway. Notably, when the 7H8 Arabidopsis orthologous gene was analyzed, no stress induction in terms of mRNA abundance and no cold-dependent intron retention was detected. Otherwise, 6G2 Arabidopsis homologous sequences sharing the same genomic structure of the durum wheat 6G2 showed a similar intron retention event although not strictly dependent on stress.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology*
  • Hordeum / genetics
  • Hordeum / metabolism
  • Introns / physiology*
  • Mutation
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Triticum / genetics
  • Triticum / metabolism*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Plant Proteins