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Plant Physiol. 1993 Jan;101(1):245-250.

Low-Temperature Effects on Photosynthesis and Correlation with Freezing Tolerance in Spring and Winter Cultivars of Wheat and Rye.

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Department of Plant Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada N6A 5B7 (V.M.H., N.P.A.H.).


Winter cultivars of rye (Secale cereale L., cv Musketeer) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cvs Kharkov and Monopol), but not a spring cultivar of wheat (Glenlea), grown at cold-hardening temperatures showed, at high irradiances, a higher proportion of oxidized to reduced primary, stable quinone receptor (QA) than did the same cultivars grown under nonhardening conditions. In addition, there was a positive correlation between the effects of low-growth temperature on this increased proportion of oxidized QA, and a concomitant increase in the capacity for photosynthesis, and LT50, the temperature at which 50% of the seedlings are killed, in cultivars showing different freezing tolerances. This suggests that low-temperature modulation of the photosynthetic apparatus may be an important factor during the induction of freezing resistance in cereals. Finally, the control of photosystem II photochemistry by nonphotochemical quenching of excitation energy was identical for nonhardened and cold-hardened winter rye. However, examination of measuring temperature effects per se revealed that, irrespective of growth temperature, nonphotochemical quenching exerted a stronger control on photosystem II photochemistry at 10[deg] C rather than at 20[deg] C.

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