Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



Once considered to be the inevitable fate of plant life exposed to low temperatures, plant injury is now subject to partial control or alteration under certain conditions. These conditions involve a genetic change in the plant protoplasm by breeding a hardier, more resistant variety or by a change in the environment of the plant that induces resistance to low temperatures. The latter change is frequently known as “hardening” of the plant. While the study of these changes has given considerable insight into the subject, there is little understanding of the basic cause or causes of frost injury, nor is the subsequent resolution of the problem known. The bulk of recent scientific investigations into winter injury has been mainly concerned with plant physiology. The detection of measurable differences in the physiological factors under various conditions has offered a means of explaining frost resistance, at least partially. This thesis is a report of a continuation of an investigation into this aspect of the problem. Strawberries were selected for this research because of their susceptibility to frost injury, comparative ease of control for research purposes, and practical significance as a crop in this area. Previous studies at this college have revealed the desirability of applying a protective mulch when the plants have reached a maximum level of stored carbohydrate reserve as determined by sugar analysis. Investigations elsewhere with various plant materials have indicated that numerous other factors including mineral content and permeability of the cell, are involved. The objective of this study then is to examine some of these factors with particular reference to the strawberry plant.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Plants -- Frost resistance
Electrophysiology of plants


Includes bibliographical references (pages 40-42)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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