Expression of Cold-Regulated (cor) Genes in Barley
Barley is grown either in the northern countries close to the polar circle or on the Himalayan mountains up to 4500 m on the sea level. Such a great diffusion, despite the differences in the climatic conditions, already suggests that the barley gene pool should contain characters for wide environmental adaptability and good stress resistance. The genetic adaptation to cold climate can be achieved either by evolving a powerful frost tolerance ability or by limiting the life cycle to the short summer season (escape strategy). It is a known fact that the winter barley varieties are less hardy than winter wheat, rye and triticale, nevertheless barley is grown till the Polar Circle because spring early maturity cultivars are able to run their life cycle in the short summer season. Plant growth habit and heading date can therefore be considered as the basic traits involved in barley adaptation to environments since they allow to synchronise the plant life cycle with seasonal changes. Nevertheless because winter barley has a higher yielding potential than spring ones, there is a great interest to improve its frost resistance capacity.
KeywordsCold Acclimation Frost Resistance Frost Tolerance Winter Barley Vernalization Requirement
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