Cold-induced changes in mineral content in leaves of Coffea spp. Identification of descriptors for tolerance assessment

J. C. Ramalho, A. S. Fortunato, L. F. Goulao, F. C. Lidon

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23 Citations (Scopus)


Temperature and mineral nutrition are major environmental factors regulating plant growth and development. Yet, cold impact on mineral contents and the ability of the plants to perform changes in specific elements as a part of the acclimation process received little attention. Using five Coffea genotypes previously characterized concerning their cold sensitivity, a mineral analysis was performed considering macro (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and S) and micro (Na, Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, and B) nutrients in order to predict their importance in cold tolerance. The results showed a cold-induced dynamics of mineral nutrients in recently mature leaves. The less cold sensitive Icatu, and partially Catuaí, accumulated N, Ca, Mn, Cu, and Zn with potential implications in the maintenance of photosynthetic performance, the reinforcement of the antioxidative defense system, lipid metabolism, and the expression of cold regulated genes, thus constituting interesting traits to evaluate the cold acclimation ability. After a principal component analysis (PCA), N, Fe, Mn, and Cu were further confirmed as strong candidates for an early cold tolerance evaluation due to their dynamics and to specific roles in the activities of Cu/Zn-SOD (Cu), APX (Fe), and PSII (Mn).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-506
Number of pages12
JournalBiologia Plantarum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013


  • coffee genotypes
  • cold sensitivity
  • mineral dynamics
  • principal component analysis
  • tolerance markers


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