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Improvement of frost tolerance in winter wheat by in vitro selection of proline-overproducing mutants



Improvement of frost tolerance in winter wheat by in vitro selection of proline-overproducing mutants



Acta Agronomica Hungarica 45(3): 295-299



In several genotypes of winter wheat a significant positive correlation between cold-induced frost tolerance and the accumulation of free proline in the leaves was found in earlier studies. Based on this observation the hypothesis was developed that proline accumulation and frost tolerance are causally connected. To test this hypothesis proline overproducing mutants from a Finnish winter wheat variety (Jo 3063) were produced by the in vitro technique using embryogenic calli which were exposed to hydroxyproline (Hyp) as selection agent. Regenerated hydroxyproline-resistant plants as well as their F1 to F5 progenies proved to possess higher proline content in their leaves as well as higher frost tolerance in leaves and whole plants after cold hardening under growth chamber and field conditions. The mutation seems to be due to a single incompletely dominant gene. Besides providing substantial evidence for a role of proline in the process of frost tolerance development the study opens the possibility of improving winter hardiness by this biotechnological method.

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Accession: 003168945

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