A global survey of gene regulation during cold acclimation in Arabidopsis thaliana

PLoS Genet. 2005 Aug;1(2):e26. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.0010026. Epub 2005 Aug 19.


Many temperate plant species such as Arabidopsis thaliana are able to increase their freezing tolerance when exposed to low, nonfreezing temperatures in a process called cold acclimation. This process is accompanied by complex changes in gene expression. Previous studies have investigated these changes but have mainly focused on individual or small groups of genes. We present a comprehensive statistical analysis of the genome-wide changes of gene expression in response to 14 d of cold acclimation in Arabidopsis, and provide a large-scale validation of these data by comparing datasets obtained for the Affymetrix ATH1 Genechip and MWG 50-mer oligonucleotide whole-genome microarrays. We combine these datasets with existing published and publicly available data investigating Arabidopsis gene expression in response to low temperature. All data are integrated into a database detailing the cold responsiveness of 22,043 genes as a function of time of exposure at low temperature. We concentrate our functional analysis on global changes marking relevant pathways or functional groups of genes. These analyses provide a statistical basis for many previously reported changes, identify so far unreported changes, and show which processes predominate during different times of cold acclimation. This approach offers the fullest characterization of global changes in gene expression in response to low temperature available to date.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acclimatization*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Genome, Plant
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis