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Plant Physiol. 2001 Jan;125(1):227-40.

Freezing of barley studied by infrared video thermography.

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  • 1Department of Biological and Nutritional Sciences, The University of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU, United Kingdom. R.S.Pearce@ncl.ac.uk


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 simultaneously spreading laterally at 0.3 cm s(-1). Similar results were obtained in the field with H. lanatus. A distinct second, 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 degrees 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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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