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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Understanding freeze stress in biological tissues: thermodynamics of interfacial water

Authors
item Olien, C - USDA-ARS RETIRED
item Livingston, David

Submitted to: Thermochimica Acta
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 28, 2006
Publication Date: September 30, 2006
Citation: Olien, C.R., Livingston, D.P. 2006. Understanding freeze stress in biological tissues: thermodynamics of interfacial water. Thermochimica Acta. 451:9-13.

Interpretive Summary: Energy relationships between ice and interacting tissues can help physiologists and breeders understand which plant mechanisms may be important in allowing the plant to survive winter freezing. This paper is an analysis of liquid water in the space between ice crystals and between ice and cell tissues. It describes changes in various energy parameters such as heat capacity as the temperature of the system is lowered to absolute zero. In the same way control of a disease depends on the identification of the pathogen causing the disease, using an analysis like this one can help identify a specific form of stress that causes the plant to die when frozen.

Technical Abstract: A thermodynamic approach to distinguish forms of freeze energy that injure plants as the temperature decreases is developed. The pattern resulting from this analysis dictated the sequence of thermal requirements for water to exist as an independent state. Improvement of freezing tolerance in biological systems depends on identification of a specific form of stress, just as control of a disease depends on identification of the pathogen causing the disease. An interatomic force model whose response to temperature change corresponds with the enthalpy pattern might help define freeze stress from a unique perspective.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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