Date of this Version
Plant Physiol. (1991) 96, pp. 686-692.
Bark storage proteins (BSPs) accumulate in the inner bark parenchyma of many woody plants during autumn and winter. We investigated the effect of a short-day (SD) photoperiod on the accumulation of the 32-kilodalton bark storage protein of poplar (Populus deltoides Bart. ex Marsh.) under controlled environmental and natural growing conditions. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and protein gel blot analysis revealed that 10 days of SD exposure (8 hours of light) resulted in a 20% increase in the relative abundance of the 32-kilodalton bark storage protein of poplar. After 17 days of SD exposure, the 32-kilodalton bark storage protein accounted for nearly one-half of the soluble bark proteins. In natural field conditions, accumulation of the 32-kilodalton bark storage protein was observed to start by August 18 (daylength 14.1 hours). Immunoprecipitation of in vitro translation products with anti-BSP serum revealed that the SD protein accumulation was correlated with changes in the pool of translatable mRNA. A survey of poplar clones from different geographic origins revealed the presence of the 32-kilodalton BSP in the dormant bark of all the clones tested. These results demonstrate that a SD photoperiod induces, whether directly or indirectly, rapid changes in woody plant gene expression, leading to the accumulation of BSP.