Plants in a cold climate

Maggie Smallwood, Dianna J. Bowles

Abstract

Plants are able to survive prolonged exposure to sub–zero temperatures; this ability is enhanced by pre–exposure to low, but above–zero temperatures. This process, known as cold acclimation, is briefly reviewed from the perception of cold, through transduction of the low–temperature signal to functional analysis of cold–induced gene products. The stresses that freezing of apoplastic water imposes on plant cells is considered and what is understood about the mechanisms that plants use to combat those stresses discussed, with particular emphasis on the role of the extracellular matrix.

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