The Use of Infrared Video Thermography to Study Freezing in Plants

  • Michael Wisniewski


Frost sensitive species have only a limited ability to tolerate ice formation in their tissues (Burke et al. 1976, Cary and Mayland 1990). Most plants, however, can supercool to some extent below 0°C and thus avoid freezing and the concomitant formation of ice in their tissues (Ashworth and Kieft 1995, Lindow et al. 1978, Marcellos and Single 1976, Proebsting et al. 1982). The extent to which a plant can supercool varies by plant species and is influenced by the presence of both extrinsic and intrinsic ice nucleating agents (Anderson and Ashworth 1985, Andrews et al. 1986, Gross et al. 1988, Lindow 1982, 1983, Lindow et al. 1978). Intrinsic ice nucleating agents are believed to be an inherent part of the plant, although the exact nature and composition of these agents remains to be elucidated (Ashworth and Kieft 1995). On the other hand, the most well documented extrinsic ice nucleating agents are of microbial (Lindow 1995) or fungal (Ashworth and Kieft 1995) origin. The relative contribution of these intrinsic and extrinsic ice-nucleating agents in inducing plants to freeze under field conditions continues to be unresolved. Principally, this has been due to the difficulty in monitoring freezing events under field conditions in a comprehensive manner and the inability to directly determine the initial site of freezing and the contribution of that site to the freezing of the whole plant.


Freezing Process Freezing Event Bean Leaf Cane Tissue Plant Cold Hardiness 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Wisniewski
    • 1
  1. 1.United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research ServiceAppalachian Fruit Research StationKearneysvilleUSA

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