However, the lack of knowledge concerning the regulation of chilling tolerance at the molecular and physiological levels hampers the integration of low temperature concepts in greenhouse production. This project, which is part of the joint project „Chilling Tolerance of Plants“ within the WeGa network, aims to close these gaps. The objective is to specify parameters to determine tolerance to sub-optimal growth temperature, identify chilling-tolerant genotypes of Petunia hybrida and Euphorbia pulcherrima, and disclose relationships between the chilling response of growth (shoot and bract development, respectively) and changes at the levels of carbohydrate metabolism, plant hormone homeostasis and gene expression.
The studies include analyses of particular plant hormones by GC-MS/MS, of carbohydrates and related enzymes by enzymatic assays and with petunia expression analysis of approximately 25,000 gene sequences with a petunia microarray. Finally, it will be tested whether cultivars diverging in chilling tolerance exhibit characteristic response profiles at the molecular and physiological levels.
(part of the AgroClustEr WeGa, www.wega-online.org, funded by the BMBF)