Identification of cold tolerance genes and a functional allele that confers cold tolerance ($) (Plant Physiol.)

Xiao et al. used 1,033 rice accessions for GWAS to identify QTLs associated with cold tolerance.  In general, japonica-type varieties showed greater cold tolerance than indica types.  The authors identified many QTLs for cold tolerance at the seedling and booting (initiation of panicles) stages. They identified a locus correlated with cold tolerance, and a single-nucleotide polymorphism that is differentially present in high- versus low-altitude accessions. Further analysis including transgenic introduction or slincing ofof the candidate gene carrying the cold-tolerance associated SNP demonstrated its role in cold tolerance. The gene encodes a protein with a pectin lyase fold, annotated to be involved in cell wall metabolism. The authors speculate that the pectin content of cell walls, as regulated by this gene, could affect cold tolerance in rice. (Summary by Mary Williams) Plant Physiol. 10.1104/pp.18.00209