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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Using Infrared Thermography to Study Ice Nucleation and Propagation in Plants

Authors
item Wisniewski, Michael
item Glenn, D Michael
item Gusta, Lawrence - UNIV OF SASKATCHEWAN
item Fuller, Michael - UNIV OF PLYMOUTH, UK
item Duman, John - UNIV OF NOTRE DAME
item Griffith, Marilyn - UNIV OF WATERLOO

Submitted to: Acta Horticulturae
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2003
Publication Date: July 1, 2003
Citation: WISNIEWSKI, M.E., GLENN, D.M., GUSTA, L., FULLER, M., DUMAN, J., GRIFFITH, M. USING INFRARED THERMOGRAPHY TO STUDY ICE NUCLEATION AND PROPAGATION IN PLANTS. ACTA HORTICULTURAE. 2003. 618:485-492

Technical Abstract: Infrared thermography offers a distinct advantage over other methods of studying ice nucleation and propagation in plants because it allows one to directly visualize the freezing process. This technique has provided new details about the freezing process in most of the plant species in which it has been used. It is non-intrusive and thus overcomes any influence on the pattern of freezing resulting from attached objects such as thermocouples. Collectively, the results of several studies have identified several new possibilities for enhancing frost protection. In particular, selection of cultivars with thicker cuticles or providing an externally-applied, hydrophobic barrier, may provide a way of blocking extrinsic ice formation from propagating into a plant and initiating a freezing event. The application of a hydrophobic particle film to the surface of tomato plants provided frost protection and prevented plants from freezing despite the presence of ice on the external leaf surface. Breeding for the presence of barriers to ice propagation in woody plants that allow expanded flowers or inflorescences to supercool despite the formation of ice in stem tissues, may also be a practical approach for enhancing cold hardiness during spring frosts. Evidence that the expression of transgenes coding for insect antifreeze proteins in Arabidopsis can enhance supercooling in the absence of extrinsic ice nucleation has also been reported. It is expected that further studies utilizing infrared thermography to study ice nucleation and propagation in plants will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms plants have evolved to accommodate ice formation within their tissues. Such knowledge will be extremely valuable for developing new frost protection technologies.

Last Modified: 11/23/2014
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