Effect of abscisic acid on the cold hardiness of wheat seedlings

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ABA treatment increased the frost resistance of the wheat varieties Cheyenne, Martonvasari 14 and Chinese Spring to different extents when they were grown without cold hardening. A % survival equivalent to that of the cold-hardened plants was achieved without hardening if the plants were treated with 20 mg/L ABA 3 or 6 days prior to freezing at -6°C. The ABA content in the crown in terms of fresh weight was twice as high as in the leaves even before cold hardening, and this tendency was observed throughout. In both plant organs a fairly substantial accumulation of ABA occurred during the first 2 days of hardening, after which the concentration dropped, and remained at much the same value from the 5th to the 20th day. For both the leaves and the crown, the poorly frost resistant Chinese Spring exhibited the smallest increase in ABA content. Endogenous changes in ABA were only correlated to the hardening level during the initial stages of hardening and the quantity of endogenous ABA depended on the genetic background of the variety. These facts would appear to indicate that ABA plays a role in the initial stages of frost resistance development, after which its effect weakens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)439-443
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1996


  • Abscisic acid
  • cold hardiness
  • frost tolerance
  • wheat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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