, Volume 165, Issue 3, pp 545–556 | Cite as

Improved frost tolerance and winter hardiness in proline overaccumulating winter wheat mutants obtained by in vitro-selection is associated with increased carbohydrate, soluble protein and abscisic acid (ABA) levels



In previous studies in vitro-selection of proline overaccumulating lines of winter wheat (Triticum sativum L. cv. Jo 3063) with increased frost tolerance was reported. These traits were found to be genetically stable. In the present study the improvement of frost tolerance (winter hardiness) under field conditions is confirmed for F7 progenies of the mutants. Moreover, the mutants accumulated higher levels of glucose and fructose, soluble protein and abscisic acid (ABA) in addition to proline than the wild type under cold hardening conditions in a growth chamber as well as under cold hardening field conditions. ABA and proline levels peaked when the temperature decreased, whereas carbohydrate levels increased more slowly at decreasing temperature. Soluble protein levels also increased during cold hardening, but in addition showed sharp declines during frost periods. Increased carbohydrate levels of the mutants were associated with lower osmotic potential values. The differences in carbohydrate, protein and ABA levels between the mutants and the wild type are probably due to pleiotropic effects of the mutation.


Abscisic acid (ABA) Carbohydrates Frost tolerance Hydroxyproline (Hyp) Proline Soluble protein Winter survival 



Abscisic acid





The authors thank Assoc. Prof. Franciszek Janowiak, Polish Academy of Sciences, Krakow, Poland, and Dr. Hanny Tantau, University of Hamburg, Germany, for critical reading of the manuscript. We appreciate the careful technical assistance of Gerda Lesselich.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biocentre and Botanical GardenUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

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