Previous studies have reported that low temperature (LT) constrains plant growth and restricts productivity in temperate regions. However, the underlying mechanisms are complex and not well understood. Over the past ten years, research on the process of adaptation and tolerance of plants during cold stress has been carried out. In molecular terms, researchers prioritize research into the field of the ICE-CBF-COR signaling pathway which is believed to be the important key to the cold acclimation process. Inducer of CBF Expression (ICE
) is a pioneer of cold acclimation and plays a central role in C-repeat binding (CBF) cold induction. CBFs
activate the expression of COR
genes via binding to cis-elements in the promoter of COR
genes. An ICE-CBF-COR signaling pathway activates the appropriate expression of downstream genes, which encodes osmoregulation substances. In this review, we summarize the recent progress of cold stress tolerance in plants from molecular and physiological perspectives and other factors, such as hormones, light, and circadian clock. Understanding the process of cold stress tolerance and the genes involved in the signaling network for cold stress is essential for improving plants, especially crops.
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