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Location: Sugarbeet and Bean Research

Title: The equilibrated state of freezing as a basis for distinguishing lethal stresses of freezing in plants

item Olien, Charles

Submitted to: Thermochimica Acta
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2012
Publication Date: 3/14/2012
Citation: Olien, C.R. 2012. The equilibrated state of freezing as a basis for distinguishing lethal stresses of freezing in plants. Thermochimica Acta. 534:17-20.

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 model for coordination of stresses that limit winterhardiness in plants based on the thermodynamic equilibrated state of freezing and melting provides a rational basis for distinction of freeze-induced energies which can stress and injure living organisms in various ways. The departure from equilibrium, other than the energy required for maintenance of the steady state, is the free energy of freeze stress when defined by forces that interfere with the essential function or disrupt essential structure in plant tissue.