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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Chilling tolerance of cucumber (Cucumis sativus) seedling radicles is affected by radicle length, seedling vigor, and induced osmotic- and heat-shock proteins

  • Author(s): Kang, H M
  • Park, K W
  • Saltveit, Mikal E
  • et al.

Cucumber seedling radicles decrease in chilling tolerance as they increase in length or decrease in vigor. The protein content of the apical 5 mm of the radicle decreased with decreases in chilling tolerance (R-2 = 0.92). This general reduction in protein content was reflected in a decrease of six dehydrin-like proteins with apparent molecular weights of 13.0, 15.0, 16.8, 23.0, 26.8, and 33.5 kDa. The disappearance of naturally occurring dehydrin-like proteins in cucumber seedling radicles as they elongate or lose vigor was correlated with a loss of chilling tolerance. Exposure to an osmotic (0.6 M mannitol) or heat (2 min at 45 degrees C) stress enhanced chilling tolerance. The osmotic-shock treatment induced both chilling tolerance and the appearance or strengthening of dehydrin-like proteins previously present in radicles. The heat-shock treatment also induced high levels of chilling tolerance and protein(s) that reacted with a 23 and 70 kDa antibody. However, these heat-shock protein (HSPs) did not cross react with the probe for dehydrin-like proteins. When organized into high, medium, and low chilling tolerance groups, radicle that were chilling tolerant contained either the 13.0 and 16.8 kDa dehydrin-like proteins, or the 15.0 and 23.0 kDa dehydrin-like proteins, or the 23 or 70 kDa HSP.

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