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Last update: May 2021

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Test for plant frost resistance


- Test for plant frost resistance 

- Measuring of organ micro-deformation according to temperature and evaluation of the cellular lysis. 

- Applicable for a wide range of species.



  • Plant frost resistance.
  • Lethal temperature characterisation.
  • Plant breeding.
  • Physiologic diagnosis for plant conditioning.
  • Impact of cold hardening favouring treatments.
  • Variety screening


Frost is one of the most important disruptive elements for agricultural productivity and cultivation expansion in certain disadvantaged areas . Plant frost resistance is progressively obtained all along a hardening phase. This hardening, that takes place in autumn, is under control of external conditions (temperature and light) and more specific internal factors (which result from growth internal rate). Early freezing is susceptible of destroying plants which have not been enough hardened.

In new variety production, "frost resistance" criteria is included in the selection diagram. Introducing classical frost resistance tests (mortality after different temperature conditioning , LT 50: level of temperature to which 50% of the cellular lysis is obtained, electric conductivity measurement…) is difficult even impossible because of their ?. Today, the frost resistance is empirically estimated by on field few year behaviour.) is obtained, electric conductivity measuring…), is difficult, even impossible. Actually the quantity of plant materials obtained from various crossing is very low (1plant) and thus incompatible for putting into practice these costly classic tests for plant materials. Besides, the classic test costs (numerous thermal conditioning) increase the plant cost price, strongly reducing the profit margin.


 The GelistaTM test designed by INRA (PIAF), allows to classic test obstacle avoiding, which are very costly regarding plant materials and analysis time.

It uses a brand new technology (dimension micro-sensors) and methodology (radial deformation analysis for a stalk or bark segment). In allows to obtain an early evaluation of new varieties with regard to frost and to define plant hardening.

Gelista Design 

Cold Hardiness determination and freezing resistance apparatus.

plane of gelista


Références : Améglio T., Cochard H., Lacointe A., Ewers F.W., Sauter J., Martignac M.,Vandame M., Bodet C., Cruiziat P., 2001 - Adaptation to cold temperature and response to freezing in walnut tree. 4th International Walnut symposium. Ed. E. Germain, Acta Hortic. 544, 247-254.

Améglio T., Cochard H., Ewers FW, Lacointe A., Leveque A. Cold hardiness: a new tool for testing acclimation- . Ed. Labrecque M. “L’Arbre 2001 The Tree”. Collection Collectif, I.Q. editeur, Montréal (Quebec) Canada, pp. 216-224.

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