Evolution of cold acclimation in the temperate grass subfamily Pooideae (Plant Physiol)

In the grass family (Poaceae), the subfamily Pooideae, which includes economically important species like wheat, barley and forage grasses like ryegrass, dominates cold temperate habitats, although the ancestors of this group probably were adapted to tropical climates. Schubert et al. investigated the evolution to cold acclimation in the Pooideae subfamily. A cold acclimation followed by freezing treatment was applied to nine species representing the major clades in the Pooideae subfamily. All acclimated plants had a higher regrowth capacity after freezing compared to non-acclimated ones. Transcriptomic analysis in five species was performed before and after cold treatment and high confidence ortholog groups (HCOGs) were assembled. Sixteen genes that shared the same cold response in the same direction in the five species were identified. Further phylogenetic analysis of cold acclimation related genes showed that some of these genes evolved early while some others were conserved such as dehydrin 8 and 13. (Summary by Cecilia Vasquez-Robinet) Plant Phys. 10.1104/pp.18.01448