Phenomenological responses of plants to daily short-term exposure to low hardening temperature was studied under chamber and field conditions. Experiments were carried out on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), marigolds (Tagetes L.), and petunia (Petunia × hybrida) plants. The obtained data demonstrated a similar pattern of response in all studied plant species to different variants of exposure to low hardening temperature. The main features of plant response to daily short-term exposure to low hardening temperature include: a higher increment in cold tolerance (cf. two-or threefold increase relative to constant low hardening temperature) that peaked on day 5 (cf. day 2 at constant low hardening temperature) and was maintained for 2 weeks (cf. 3–4 days at constant low hardening temperature); a simultaneous increase in heat tolerance (cf. twofold relative to constant low hardening temperature) maintained over a long period (cf. only in the beginning of the exposure to constant low hardening temperature); a sharp drop in the subsequent cold tolerance after plant incubation in the dark (cf. a very low decrease in cold tolerance following the exposure to constant low hardening temperature); a combination of high cold tolerance and high photochemical activity of the photosynthetic apparatus (cf. a low non-photochemical quenching at constant low hardening temperature); and the capacity to increase cold tolerance in response to repeated short-term exposures to low hardening temperature in plants grown outdoors (cf. a gradual increase after repeated exposure to constant low hardening temperature). Possible mechanisms underlying the plant response to daily short-term exposure to low temperature are proposed.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2008
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