Proteome analysis of field versus chamber acclimated winter wheat and rye crowns
The most critical region for winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) winter survival is the crown. Exposure to different environmental cues during cold acclimation improves the crowns resistance to freezing. This key fact is not taken into account in the design of controlled environment experiments and may not reflect actual mechanisms of cold hardiness in the field. Acclimation to multiple environmental cues under fall field conditions could explain the improved freezing survival of field as opposed to chamber acclimated plants. It is hypothesized that in field acclimated, greater accumulation of anti-freeze and dehydrin proteins in the crown's vascular tissues improve resistance to freezing. The expected outcome of this study is to identify specific protein markers associated with enhanced freezing resistance in the current superior freeze resistant winter wheat Norstar and more winter hardy Puma rye. Identification of biochemical markers associated with field acclimation will be useful to breeders intent on improving winter hardiness in winter wheat.