`Danka' black currant floral buds produce multiple low temperature exotherms (LTEs). However, the absence of visual injury symbtoms in the buds after exposure to subfreezing temperatures make it difficult to assess injury in these buds. A 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) reduction assay was used to determine whether LTEs corresponded to freezing injury of individual floral primordia or to the entire floral axis. Intact buds were cooled at 3C/n, removed at 3C intervals from -12 to -33C, and thawed on ice for 24 h. Duplicate samples were subjected to differential thermal analysis. Freeze injury Could not be measured with TTC in thawed, intact buds. However, incubation of excised floral primordia in TTC resulted in an all or nothing response. The number of LTES did not correspond to the number of floral primordia killed within a floral bud, but the median LTE did correspond with the temperature at which lethal injury of the whole inflorescence occurred. Therefore, preliminary results indicate that TTC reduction assay of individual floral buds is a fast, reliable technique to assess bud injury.
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