Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Kearneysville, West Virginia » Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory » Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #355287

Research Project: Improving Stress and Disease Resistance in Apple Germplasm

Location: Innovative Fruit Production, Improvement, and Protection

Title: Cold Hardiness in Trees: A Mini-Review

item Wisniewski, Michael
item Nassuth, Annette - University Of Guelph
item Arora, Rajeev - Iowa State University

Submitted to: Frontiers in Plant Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/3/2018
Publication Date: 9/20/2018
Citation: Wisniewski, M.E., Nassuth, A., Arora, R. 2018. Cold Hardiness in Trees: A Mini-Review. Frontiers in Plant Science. 9:1394.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The past fifty years of research has provided great advancements in our understanding of the physiological, biochemical, and molecular regulation of cold hardiness. Despite these advances, however, the development of methods for managing and improving cold hardiness in both herbaceous and perennial woody plants have proven to be elusive. This is partially due to treating cold hardiness as a single dimensional response, rather than as a complex phenomenon, involving different mechanisms (avoidance and tolerance), different stages (mid-winter vs. late winter), and an intimate overlap with the processes regulating plant dormancy. This latter aspect is of particular importance given recent changes in climate that have resulted in erratic episodes of unseasonal warming followed by more seasonal patterns of low temperatures. The relationship between dormancy and cold hardiness is especially important to understanding deacclimation. The current mini-review will provide a brief overview of freeze avoidance and freeze tolerance mechanisms in trees, the role of CBF transcription factors in the regulation of cold-induced gene expression, and the importance of dormancy in regulating deacclimation. Emphasis will also be placed on the time-scale needed to conduct studies on the biology of low-temperature responses in trees and discuss avenues of research that will be needed if progress is to be made in developing effective approaches for manipulating and improving cold hardiness.