Seasonal Changes in the Freezing Behavior of Xylem Ray Parenchyma Cells in Four Boreal Hardwood Species

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Abstract:

The freezing behavior of xylem ray parenchyma cells in several boreal hardwood species, namely, Betula platyphylla, Populus canadensis, P. sieboldii, and Salix sachalinensis, was examined by differential thermal analysis (DTA), cryo-scanning electron microscopy (Cryo-SEM), and freeze-fracture replica electron microscopy. Although DTA profiles of samples harvested in summer and in winter suggested that the xylem ray parenchyma cells in all four species responded to freezing stress by extracellular freezing, Cryo-SEM showed clearly that the xylem ray parenchyma cells in all these species responded to freezing stress by shallow supercooling in summer and by extracellular freezing in winter. It is suggested that DTA failed to reveal the true freezing behavior of xylem ray parenchyma cells because of an overlap of temperature ranges between the high-temperature exotherm and the low-temperature exotherm and/or because of the limited extent of the LTE. The seasonal changes in freezing behavior of xylem ray parenchyma cells in all these boreal species, which are results of seasonal cold acclimation, support the hypothesis that a gradual shift of freezing behavior in xylem ray parenchyma cells from shallow supercooling in hardwood species that grow in tropical zones to extracellular freezing in hardwood species that grow in cold areas might be a result of the evolutionary adaptation of hardwood species to cold climates.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Agriculture 2: Faculty of Agriculture, Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, 060-0819, Japan

Publication date: February 1, 1999

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