Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Heterogeneity of plant mitochondrial responses underpinning respiratory acclimation to the cold in Arabidopsis thaliana leaves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


AF Armstrong, David Logan, Alyson Kim Tobin, P O'Toole, OK Atkin

School/Research organisations


In this study, we investigated whether changes in mitochondrial abundance, ultrastructure and activity are involved in the respiratory cold acclimation response in leaves of the cold-hardy plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Confocal microscopy [using plants with green fluorescence protein (GFP) targeted to the mitochondria] and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used to visualize changes in mitochondrial morphology, abundance and ultrastructure. Measurements of respiratory flux in isolated mitochondria and intact leaf tissue were also made. Warm-grown (WG, 25/20 degrees C day/night), 3-week cold-treated (CT) and cold-developed (CD) leaves were sampled. Although CT leaves exhibited some evidence of acclimation (as evidenced by higher rates of respiration at moderate measurement temperatures), it was only the CD leaves that were able to re-establish respiratory flux within the cold. Associated with the recovery of respiratory flux in the CD leaves were: (1) an increase in the total volume of mitochondria per unit volume of tissue in epidermal cells; (2) an increase in the ratio of cristae to matrix within mesophyll cell mitochondria; and (3) an increase in the capacity of the energy-producing cytochrome pathway in mitochondria isolated from whole leaf homogenates. Regardless of growth temperature, we found that contrasting cell types exhibited distinct differences in mitochondrial ultrastructure, morphology and abundance. Collectively, our data demonstrated the diversity and tissue-specific nature of mitochondrial responses that underpin respiratory acclimation to the cold, and revealed the heterogeneity of mitochondrial structure and abundance that exists within leaves.



    Research areas

  • confocal microscopy, cytochrome oxidase, epidermic, mesophyll, respiration, temperature, ultrastructure, ALTERNATIVE OXIDASE, LEAF RESPIRATION, TEMPERATURE DEPENDENCE, THERMAL-ACCLIMATION, OXIDATIVE RATES, ELEVATED CO2, WHEAT LEAVES, GROWTH, PATHWAY, CAPACITY

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Profiling of spatial metabolite distributions in wheat leaves under normal and nitrate limiting conditions

    Allwood, J. W., Chandra, S., Xu, Y., Dunn, W. B., Correa, E., Hopkins, L., Goodacre, R., Tobin, A. K. & Bowsher, C. G., Jul 2015, In : Phytochemistry. 115, p. 99-111 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. The metabolic and proteomic analysis of plastids isolated from different cell types of Arabidopsis thaliana leaves

    Bowsher, C., Chovanec, P., Thornton, D. & Tobin, A., Feb 2007, In : Photosynthesis Research. 91, 2-3, p. 276-276 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalAbstract

  3. Proteomic analysis of leaf plastids isolated from different cell types of Arabidopsis thaliana

    Chovanec, P., Tobin, A. K., Thornton, D. J. & Bowsher, C. G., Jul 2005, In : Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology. 141, 1 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Ultraviolet B-induced DNA lesions and their removal in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) leaves

    Taylor, RM., Nikaido, O., Jordan, BR., Rosamond, J., Bray, C. M. & Tobin, A. K., Feb 1996, In : Plant, Cell & Environment. 19, 2, p. 171-181 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 361226