The University of Arizona

Developmental stages of winterfat germinants related to survival after freezing.

Y. Bai, D.T. Booth, J.T. Romo


Diaspores of winterfat (Eurotia lanata (Pursh) Moq.) collected from 2 locations in the USA and 1 in Canada were imbibed at 10 degree C and grown to 4 different developmental stages (2, 3, 6, and 14 days of incubation), then subjected to cooling temperatures as low as -30 degree C. Differential thermal analysis was used to detect exotherms associated with ice crystal formation in germinants. The temperature at which exotherms occurred was recorded, and the subsequent growth and mortality of germinants were determined. Only 1 exotherm was observed, and that occurred in the low-temperature exotherm range (usually &-10 degree C). Changes in the freezing tolerance of germinants from seed to seedling was a gradual process as indicated by increases in exothermic temperature and mortality with increasing developmental stage. Whether the exotherm indicated a lethal event depended on the developmental stage of the germinant. Germinant survival was also affected by cooling below the exotherm temperature.


thermochemical properties;exothermic reactions;frost resistance;freezing;cooling;Saskatchewan;mortality;rain;Krascheninnikovia lanata;seedlings;Wyoming;seed germination;Colorado

Full Text: