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SUMMARY: The sensitive to freezing2 (SFR2) gene has an important role in freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that homologous genes are present, and expressed, in a wide range of terrestrial plants, including species not able to tolerate freezing. Expression constructs derived from the cDNAs of a number of different plant species, including examples not tolerant to freezing, are able to complement the freezing sensitivity of the Arabidopsis sfr2 mutant. In Arabidopsis the SFR2 protein is localized to the chloroplast outer envelope membrane, as revealed by the analysis of transgenic plants expressing SFR2 fusions to GFP, by confocal microscopy, and by the immunological analysis of isolated chloroplasts treated with thermolysin protease. Moreover, the chloroplasts of the sfr2 mutant show clear evidence of rapid damage after a freezing episode, suggesting a role for SFR2 in the protection of the chloroplast.

Original publication




Journal article


Plant J

Publication Date





734 - 745


Amino Acid Sequence, Arabidopsis, Arabidopsis Proteins, Chloroplasts, Freezing, Genes, Plant, Genes, Reporter, Genetic Complementation Test, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Intracellular Membranes, Microscopy, Confocal, Microscopy, Electron, Transmission, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutagenesis, Site-Directed, Phylogeny, Plant Leaves, Plants, Genetically Modified, RNA, Plant, Recombinant Proteins, Sequence Alignment, Sequence Analysis, Protein, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, beta-Glucosidase