Low winter temperatures are a major limiting factor in the production of temperate tree fruit crops. Economic losses can occur as a direct result of severe midwinter temperatures or untimely fall or spring frosts. For these reasons, cold hardiness is often a selection criterion in breeding programs, and several research programs have placed a primary emphasis on elucidating the mechanisms of freezing injury and winter survival of fruit crops. This chapter attempts to provide a brief overview of the subject and to discuss various strategies that are currently being used to study freezing injury and winter survival.
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