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Freezing of barley studied by infrared video thermography

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Roger Pearce


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Freezing of barley (Hordeum vulgare), Hordeum murinum, and Holcus lanatus was studied using infrared video thermography. In the field, ice could enter H. lanatus leaves through hydathodes. In laboratory tests with barley, initially 0.4% of the leaf water froze, spreading in alternate strips of high and low freezing intensity longitudinally at 1 to 4 cm s-1, and 0.3 cm s-1. Similar results were obtained in the field with H. lanatus. A distinct second, simultaneously spreading laterally at more intense, freezing event spread slowly from the margins of the leaves toward the midrib. Organs of uprooted barley tested in the laboratory froze in this order: Nucleated leaf, roots, older leaves, younger leaves, and secondary tillers. When ice spread from one leaf to the rest of the plant the crown delayed spread to the roots and other leaves. There was a longer delay above than below -2°C, helping to protect the crown from freezing during mild frosts. Initial spread of freezing was not damaging. However, the initial spread is a prerequisite for the second freezing event, which can cause damage. The route of the initial spread of ice may be extracellular, drawing water from more gel-like parts of the cell wall.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pearce RS; Fuller MP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Plant Physiology

Year: 2001

Volume: 125

Issue: 1

Pages: 227-240

Print publication date: 01/01/2001

ISSN (print): 0032-0889

ISSN (electronic): 1532-2548

Publisher: American Society of Plant Biologists


DOI: 10.1104/pp.125.1.227

PubMed id: 11154332


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