Table of Contents
ISRN Forestry
Volume 2012, Article ID 243694, 5 pages
Research Article

Understanding Heat Stress Tolerance of Suspended Cells in the Model Plant Populus euphratica

1Plant Functional Biology Centre, Centre for Biodiversity, Functional & Integrative Genomics, University of Minho, Gualtar Campus, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
23B’s Research Group, Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics, University of Minho, Headquarters of the European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, AvePark, 4806-909 Caldas das Taipas, Portugal

Received 1 February 2012; Accepted 15 March 2012

Academic Editors: N. Gierlinger, D. Huber, B. Schirone, and S. Sun

Copyright © 2012 Joana Silva-Correia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A comprehensive understanding of the physiological responses of plants to extreme temperatures is essential for future strategies for plant improvement. Obvious advantages can result from the study of highly adapted plant species, such as the model tree Populus euphratica Olivier that naturally thrives under extreme temperatures, saline soils, and drought. The present paper addresses the issue of P. euphratica thermotolerance using a cell suspension model system. P. euphratica suspended cells were subjected to a range of temperatures (from 5 up to 75°C) for 20 min, and cultures were evaluated for cell viability and biomass content at specific time points. The results have shown that cell viability was only affected after a temperature stress higher than 40°C, although in these conditions it was observed that a cell growth increases after the recovery period. In contrast, a total decline in cell viability was observed in suspended cells treated at 50°C or higher temperatures, which did not show growth recovery capacity. Therefore, the known natural tolerance of P. euphratica to thermal stress was not observable at the cellular level. The greater susceptibility to high temperatures in suspended cells as compared to field plants suggests that high thermotolerance can only be achieved when cells are integrated into a tissue.