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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: Three dimensional reconstruction of winter cereal crowns during recovery from freezing

Authors
item Livingston, David
item Tuong, Tan Duy
item Tallury, Shyam -

Submitted to: International Meeting on Plant and Microbe Adaptations to Cold
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 24, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Winter cereals are crops which can be planted in the fall and harvested before summer the following year. However winter survival of the below-ground portion of the stem, called the crown, is crucial to survival of the plant in spring. In this study the winter cereals rye, wheat, barley and oat were frozen and histologically studied during a period of recovery from freezing. Oat had a unique response to freezing in the form of a barrier that stained deep red and separated live from dead tissue. We used color recognition, flouresence microscopy and 3D reconstruction to characterize this barrier in preparation for a study of the change in metabolism of the crown during freezing. This analysis will help scientists better understand the ability of crops to adapt to climate change.

Technical Abstract: One aspect of winterhardiness in small grains that has received little attention is the period of recovery following freezing when repair mechanisms could significantly impact how or if a plant survives freezing. In this study rye, wheat, barley and oat were frozen and their crowns histologically studied during a 2 week recovery period after freezing. Oat had a unique response to freezing consisting of a barrier that stained deep red and separated live from dead tissue within the crown. We used vital stains, color recognition, fluorescence microscopy and 3D reconstruction to characterize this barrier in preparation for a study of the change in metabolism of the crown during freezing. These observations will help scientists better understand the ability of crops to adapt to climate change. 3D reconstruction techniques used here to study recovery from freezing can be used in a variety of scientific endeavors including effect(s) of pathogens on crops and even structural analysis of animal organs in mammalian tissues.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014