5. Cold and Abiotic Stress Signaling in Plants

  1. Dr. Narendra Tuteja2,3,
  2. Dr. Sarvajeet Singh Gill2,4,
  3. Prof. Antonio F. Tiburcio5 and
  4. Dr. Renu Tuteja2
  1. Wenqiong Joan Chen

Published Online: 30 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9783527632930.ch5

Improving Crop Resistance to Abiotic Stress, Volume 1 & Volume 2

Improving Crop Resistance to Abiotic Stress, Volume 1 & Volume 2

How to Cite

Chen, W. J. (2012) Cold and Abiotic Stress Signaling in Plants, in Improving Crop Resistance to Abiotic Stress, Volume 1 & Volume 2 (eds N. Tuteja, S. S. Gill, A. F. Tiburcio and R. Tuteja), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, Germany. doi: 10.1002/9783527632930.ch5

Editor Information

  1. 2

    International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Plant Molecular Biology Group, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110 067, India

  2. 3

    MD University, Centre for Biotechnology, Rohtak 124 001, Haryana, India

  3. 4

    Aligarh Muslim University, Department of Botany, Aligarh 202 002, Uttar Pradesh, India

  4. 5

    Universitat de Barcelona, Unitat de Fisiologia Vegetal, Facultat de Farmàcia, Av. Joan XXIII, S/N, 08028 Barcelona, Spain

Author Information

  1. San Diego State University, Biology Department, San Diego, CA 92182, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAR 2012
  2. Published Print: 14 MAR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527328406

Online ISBN: 9783527632930



  • cold acclimation;
  • functional genomics;
  • homeostasis;
  • stress signaling;
  • transcription factor;
  • transcriptional activation;
  • post-transcriptional regulation;
  • post-translational regulation;
  • Ca2+ signaling;
  • plant two-component system;
  • heterotrimeric g-proteins;
  • receptor-like protein kinases


Plants, unlike animals, are not mobile, and therefore unable to avoid stressful environmental conditions. As a consequence, plants have developed a wide variety of protective and defensive mechanisms in order to survive adverse conditions. Abiotic stresses, such as low temperature, high salinity, drought, or osmotic stress, are common challenges to plant survival, and negatively affect plant growth and development. From the point of view of molecular biology and biochemistry, stress signals are, in most cases, perceived by cellular receptors sitting on the cell membranes. These receptors transmit their information through multiple intermediate components in the signal transduction pathways, in order to finally activate the effector proteins, which are involved in executing physiological changes inside plant cells. However, most abiotic stress signalings, such as low-temperature stress signaling, are not linear, but are interconnected with each other. A myriad of molecules and proteins, including ions, lipids, protein kinases, and transcription factors, participate in the stress signal transduction networks. Such complex signaling networks pose a huge challenge to scientists attempting to understand the molecular and biochemical mechanisms plants employ to survive life-threatening conditions. Nevertheless, with the development of a number of advanced technologies, such as DNA microarray for global mRNA profiling, LC/MS/MS mass spectrometry for global proteomic profiling, and an abundance of new functional genomics tools, significant progress has been made in illuminating the mechanisms of plant abiotic stress responses. This chapter summarizes the most recent discoveries about the components involved in plant abiotic stress, with an emphasis on cold stress responses, and focuses on elucidating the functions of these components and their contribution to cold signaling.