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  1. Abstract Extreme temperature conditions seriously impair male reproductive development in plants; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying the response of anthers to extreme temperatures remain poorly described. The transcription factor phytochrome-interacting factor4 (PIF4) acts as a hub that integrates multiple signaling pathways to regulate thermosensory growth and architectural adaptation in plants. Here, we report that SlPIF4 in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) plays a pivotal role in regulating cold tolerance in anthers. CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)–associated nuclease Cas9-generated SlPIF4 knockout mutants showed enhanced cold tolerance in pollen due to reduced temperature sensitivity of the tapetum, while overexpressing SlPIF4 conferred pollen abortion by delaying tapetal programmed cell death (PCD). SlPIF4 directly interacts with SlDYT1, a direct upstream regulator of SlTDF1, both of which (SlDYT1 and SlTDF1) play important roles in regulating tapetum development and tapetal PCD. Moderately low temperature (MLT) promotes the transcriptional activation of SlTDF1 by the SlPIF4–SlDYT1 complex, resulting in pollen abortion, while knocking out SlPIF4 blocked the MLT-induced activation of SlTDF1. Furthermore, SlPIF4 directly binds to the canonical E-box sequence in the SlDYT1 promoter. Collectively, these findings suggest that SlPIF4 negatively regulates cold tolerance in anthers by directly interacting with the tapetal regulatory module in a temperature-dependent manner.more »Our results shed light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the adaptation of anthers to low temperatures.« less