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Free Content The effect of cold-acclimation on the water relations and freezing tolerance of Hordeum vulgare L.

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During a 5°C and a 5/-1°C cold acclimation (CA) regime there was a significant decline in the water potential of winter barley, and a concurrent decline in tissue water content of the 5/-1°C CA plants. Results of carbohydrate analysis illustrated a significant (P<0.001) accumulation of sucrose, fructose and glucose in the 5/−1°C CA plants, which was inversely correlated to water potential. Using an infrared imaging radiometer during a convection frost test the water release time (WRT) of 5/−1°C CA was demonstrated to be significantly (P<0.001) longer than that observed in non-cold acclimated plants. This observation is consistent with visual analysis of exotherm curves where the rate of cellular water release to extracellular ice is reduced in the 5/−1°C CA plants, compared to the non-cold acclimated plants. These biochemical and physiological changes were correlated to increased plant health following a non-lethal freezing test to −5°C, where non-cold acclimated plants produced 2.3 ± 0.33 tillers and 5°C and 5/−1°C A plants produced 2.4 ± 0.33 and 4.7 ± 0.67 tillers, respectively. Results from this study imply that cold acclimation leads to changes in the physical state of water that result in a less osmotically responsive cellular environment and subsequently significantly less damage to meristematic tissue.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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  • CryoLetters is a bimonthly international journal for low temperature sciences, including cryobiology, cryopreservation or vitrification of cells and tissues, chemical and physical aspects of freezing and drying, and studies involving ecology of cold environments, and cold adaptation

    The journal publishes original research reports, authoritative reviews, technical developments and commissioned book reviews of studies of the effects produced by low temperatures on a wide variety of scientific and technical processes, or those involving low temperature techniques in the investigation of physical, chemical, biological and ecological problems.

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