Acta Physiologiae Plantarum

, 40:167 | Cite as

Cold stress induces biochemical changes, fatty acid profile, antioxidant system and gene expression in Capsella bursa pastoris L.

  • Mubashir Ahmad Wani
  • Nelofer Jan
  • Hilal Ahmad Qazi
  • Khurshid Iqbal Andrabi
  • Riffat JohnEmail author
Original article


In the present study, we analysed the response of 30 day old seedlings of Capsella bursa-pastoris to cold stress (CS). Seeds of C. bursa-pastoris were grown at 25 °C for 1 month and then exposed to low temperature of 10 °C. Plant tissues were collected at different time points (24, 48, 72, 96 and 120 h) and assayed for change in osmoprotectants, fatty acid composition of membrane system and antioxidant enzymes. We also analysed the gene expression of important stress related transcription factors (TF) such as, LEA (Late embryogenesis abundant) and DREB (Dehydration responsive element binding). A significant increase in the levels of several osmoprotectants such as proline (Pro), glycine betaine (GB), free amino acids, total proteins, total soluble sugars and trehalose was observed. CS increased membrane fluidity by changing the ratio of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids in membranes which in turn resulted in significant ion leakage. CS in C. bursa-pastoris led to a significant decrease in photosynthetic pigments and ultimately altered the overall growth and biomass. Similarly, significant changes in antioxidant enzymes were observed, POD (peroxidase), CAT (cataalase), SOD (superoxide dismutase) and GR (glutathione reductase) increased significantly while as APX (ascorbate peroxidase) declined in response to CS. We assessed the transcriptional expression using qRT-PCR of these antioxidant genes coordinated with their enzyme activities. Additionally, in C. bursa-pastoris cold inducible genes encoding DREB and LEA (protein also got upregulated under CS). The present study suggests that C. bursa-pastoris responded to CS efficiently by changing its different metabolic pathways, antioxidant system, fatty acid composition and gene expression.


Capsella Cold stress Reactive oxygen species Membrane damage Cold tolerance qPCR 



Cold stress

Raphanus sativus

R. sativus

Capsella bursa-pastoris

C. bursa-patoris


Quantitative PCR



The authors acknowledge the financial support by Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), and Department of Biotechnology, Government of India for financial support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflict of interest exists.


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Molecular Biology Lab, Department of BotanyUniversity of KashmirSrinagarIndia
  2. 2.Department of Biotechnology, Science BlockUniversity of KashmirSrinagarIndia

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