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Quantitative and qualitative changes in carbohydrates associated with spring deacclimation in contrasting Hydrangea species

Pagter, Majken, Lefèvre, Isabelle, Arora, Rajeev, Hausman, Jean-Francois
Environmental and experimental botany 2011 v.72 no.3 pp. 358-367
Hydrangea, air temperature, buds, cold, cold tolerance, frost injury, hydrolysis, spring, stems, sugars, water content, winter
Cold deacclimation and associated changes in soluble carbohydrates and water status of two Hydrangea species differing in susceptibility to frost injuries was followed under natural conditions. In fully cold hardy plants of H. macrophylla stem freezing tolerance fluctuated in parallel with changes in air temperature, while in a seasonal perspective increased temperatures caused a sigmoid deacclimation pattern in both H. macrophylla and H. paniculata. Timing of deacclimation was approximately synchronized in the two species, but H. paniculata, the hardier species based on mid-winter hardiness, deacclimated faster than H. macrophylla, indicating that deacclimation kinetics were not correlated with mid-winter hardiness. In both species concentrations of soluble sugars decreased during deacclimation and were highly correlated with stem cold hardiness and air temperatures. This suggests that sugar hydrolysis may be an important temperature-driven mechanism of deacclimation in Hydrangea. Accumulation patterns of specific carbohydrates differed between the two species, suggesting that they utilize different strategies to overcome cold. In H. paniculata, deacclimation was associated with an increase in stem water content, which occurred shortly before bud burst and hence may be a prerequisite for leafing out.