Differential Accumulation of Oligosaccharides and Freezing Tolerance of Alfalfa

  • Yves Castonguay
  • Paul Nadeau
  • Réal Michaud


Lack of winterhardiness severely reduces the persistence of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) under harsh winter conditions. The need to improve winterhardiness in lines of high agronomic value has been frequently pointed out (Buxton, 1989; Beuselinck et al., 1994). However, progress toward that goal is impeded by the multigenic nature of the trait and the lack of knowledge of the physiological and biochemical factors that determine winterhardiness. Cold tolerance is generally recognized as the most important component of winterhardiness (McKenzie et al., 1988). This is supported by the close relationship between the level of cold tolerance of cultivars acclimated under field conditions and their winterhardiness ranking (Paquin, 1984). Consequently, it is envisioned that improvement of cold tolerance will translate into superior field persistence of the cultivars (cvs).


Soluble Sugar Cold Acclimation Cold Tolerance Freezing Tolerance Desiccation Tolerance 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yves Castonguay
    • 1
  • Paul Nadeau
    • 1
  • Réal Michaud
    • 1
  1. 1.Soils and Crops Research and Development CentreAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaSainte-FoyCanada

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