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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EVALUATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF CEREAL GERMPLASM FOR DISEASE RESISTANCE AND WINTER-HARDINESS Title: Surviving Winter: How do they do it?

Authors
item Livingston, David
item Tuong, Tan Duy
item Henson, Cynthia

Submitted to: American Oat Workers Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 17, 2010
Publication Date: April 18, 2010
Citation: Livingston, D.P., Tuong, T.D., Henson, C.A. 2010. Surviving Winter: How do they do it?. American Oat Workers Conference Proceedings.

Interpretive Summary: We used a variety of techniques to study oats after freezing when the plant either dies, or produces new tissue and survives. A staining procedure was developed which allowed us to identify freeze-damaged tissue histologicaly. Photographs of each section were processed to produce a 3D image of the crown. Using this approach we identified a region of the crown that forms a barrier around dead tissue and apparently prevents the expansion of damage into meristematic regions. Color recognition software was used to precisely quantify the volume of the barrier in each crown; this volume increased over time during recovery from freezing. Several metabolites from a metabolomic analysis were correlated with the increase in the barrier during recovery and they will be discussed.

Technical Abstract: Freezing tolerance in plants is usually studied by analyzing metabolism and genetics prior to freezing, during cold- and freeze-acclimation. How the metabolism of a plant changes during recovery from freezing is generally overlooked. We have been using a variety of techniques to study oats during this period when the plant either dies, or produces new tissue and survives. We froze the winter hardy cultivar Wintok at -12C and after thawing, transplanted it under controlled conditions. At 0, 1, 3 7, 14, and 21 days after transplanting we harvested crown tissue and produced over 100 serial sections of the bottom 4mm of each plant. A staining procedure was developed which allowed us to identify freeze-damaged tissue. Photographs of each section were processed to produce a 3D image of the crown. Using this approach we identified a region of the crown that forms a barrier around dead tissue and apparently prevents the expansion of damage into meristematic regions. Color recognition software was used to precisely quantify the volume of the barrier in each crown; this volume increased over time during recovery from freezing. Several metabolites from a metabolomic analysis were correlated with the increase in the barrier during recovery and they will be discussed. We also froze the non-hardy cultivar Fulhum at -8C and performed a histological analysis 7d after freezing. We will discuss similarities and differences to its hardy cousin Wintok in its response to freezing.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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