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MUR1-mediated cell-wall fucosylation is required for freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana

Panter, Paige E.; Kent, Olivia; Dale, Maeve; Smith, Sarah J.; Skipsey, Mark; Thorlby, Glenn; Cummins, Ian; Ramsay, Nathan; Begum, Rifat A.; Sanhueza, Dayan; Fry, Stephen C.; Knight, Marc R.; Knight, Heather

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Paige E. Panter

Dr Olivia Kent
Post Doctoral Research Associate

Maeve Dale

Sarah J. Smith

Mark Skipsey

Glenn Thorlby

Ian Cummins

Nathan Ramsay
PGR Student Doctor of Philosophy

Rifat A. Begum

Dayan Sanhueza

Stephen C. Fry

Marc R. Knight



1.Forward genetic screens play a key role in the identification of genes contributing to plant stress tolerance. Using a screen for freezing sensitivity, we have identified a novel freezing tolerance gene, SENSITIVE TO FREEZING8, in Arabidopsis thaliana. 2.We identified SFR8 using recombination‐based mapping and whole‐genome sequencing. As SFR8 was predicted to have an effect on cell wall composition, we used GC‐MS and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to measure cell‐wall fucose and boron (B)‐dependent dimerisation of the cell‐wall pectic domain rhamnogalacturonan II (RGII) in planta. After treatments to promote borate‐bridging of RGII, we assessed freeze‐induced damage in wild‐type and sfr8 plants by measuring electrolyte leakage from freeze‐thawed leaf discs. 3.We mapped the sfr8 mutation to MUR1, a gene encoding the fucose biosynthetic enzyme GDP‐d‐mannose‐4,6‐dehydratase. sfr8 cell walls exhibited low cell‐wall fucose levels and reduced RGII bridging. Freezing sensitivity of sfr8 mutants was ameliorated by B supplementation, which can restore RGII dimerisation. B transport mutants with reduced RGII dimerisation were also freezing‐sensitive. 4.Our research identifies a role for the structure and composition of the plant primary cell wall in determining basal plant freezing tolerance and highlights the specific importance of fucosylation, most likely through its effect on the ability of RGII pectin to dimerise.


Panter, P. E., Kent, O., Dale, M., Smith, S. J., Skipsey, M., Thorlby, G., …Knight, H. (2019). MUR1-mediated cell-wall fucosylation is required for freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana. New Phytologist, 224(4), 1518-1531.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 28, 2019
Online Publication Date Nov 7, 2019
Publication Date Dec 1, 2019
Deposit Date Aug 6, 2019
Publicly Available Date Nov 7, 2019
Journal New Phytologist
Print ISSN 0028-646X
Electronic ISSN 1469-8137
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 224
Issue 4
Pages 1518-1531


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Copyright Statement
© 2019 The Authors New Phytologist © 2019 New Phytologist Trust. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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