Survival and Recovery of `Meyer' Zoysiagrass Rhizomes after Extracellular Freezing

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211

Rhizomes of `Meyer' zoysiagrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.) were subjected to temperatures below 0 °C and were subsequently placed in a growth chamber with air at 34 °C day/28 °C night to determine the rate of shoot growth from nodes. Rhizomes exposed to subzero temperatures produced shoots steadily up to 16 days after freezing (DAF), but subsequent shoot growth from rhizomes was minimal. At 32 DAF, shoots were present on 68% and 44% of the nodes of unfrozen control (2 °C) rhizomes and those frozen to -7 °C, respectively. In another study, samples were frozen to a sublethal temperature (-7 °C) to examine the distribution of extracellular ice voids near the apical meristems of rhizomes and to characterize tissue recovery. Extracellular voids were present within the leaf tissue and between the leaves in samples prepared for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) immediately after freezing to -7 °C. By 12 DAF, most of the remaining voids were observed in older leaves. Nearly all extracellular voids in the leaves were absent by 20 DAF. However, by 28 DAF, some rhizomes still had small voids between leaves. Although the structure of zoysiagrass rhizomes subjected to -7 °C was temporarily disrupted, tissues recovered from extracellular freezing and new shoot growth was produced following exposure to warm temperatures.

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