During low-temperature exposure, temperate plant species increase their freezing tolerance in a process termed cold acclimation. The molecular mechanisms involved in cold acclimation have been mostly investigated in Arabidopsis thaliana. In addition, other Brassicaceae species related to A. thaliana have been employed in recent years to study plant stress responses on a phylogenetically broader basis and in some cases with extremophile species with a much higher stress tolerance. In this paper, we briefly summarize cold acclimation responses in A. thaliana and current knowledge about cold acclimation in A. thaliana relatives with special emphasis on Eutrema salsugineum and two closely related Thellungiella species. We then present a transcriptomic and metabolomic analysis of cold acclimation in five A. thaliana and two E. salsugineum accessions that differ widely in their freezing tolerance. Differences in the cold responses of the two species are discussed.
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