Bulb tissue cold-tolerance sensitivity differences in Lilium longijlorum 'Nellie White' and L. formosanum

Fang Du, N. O. Anderson, Yiping Xia

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


As part of a breeding objective for selection and development of winter-hardy (USDA Z3-4), seed-propagated interspecific lily hybrids, this research focuses on the identification of cold-sensitive levels of lily bulb tissue(s). The objective of this experiment was to test two cold-sensitive Lilium spp. for tissue sensitivity to and damage by freezing temperatures. Bulbs of L. longiflorum 'Nellie White' and a L. formosanum hybrid population were acclimated at 2°C for 1,000 hours. In a separate experiment, 'Nellie White' bulbs were also acclimated at 2°C for 2,000 h. Cold tolerance was assessed using laboratory freezing tests at 0, -2, -6, -8, -10, -12°C with varying ramp time periods and a 2 hour soak time in a programmable freezer. Lethal temperatures at which 50% kill occurred (LT50) of all bulb tissues (basal plate, roots, mother scales, daughter scales, meristem, pre-formed leaves), reduction and quantitative regrowth data (leaf, root numbers; shoot length) were determined for dissected bulbs tissue(s) after freezing. Significant changes in the interaction of genotype × temperature were detected. The LT50=-6°C for all structures of 'Nellie White' bulbs (both 1,000 and 2,000 h) and roots of L. formosanum whereas an LT 50=-8°C was found for L. formosanum mother and daughter scales, leaves, meristems, and basal plates. Cooling for 1,000 h resulted in significant regrowth differences for leaf number and shoot length of 'Nellie White' between -6 and -8°C. However, after 2,000 hours cooling the number of leaves and shoot length differed significantly between -2 and -6°C for 'Nellie White'. TTC tests did not correspond to laboratory freezing LT50s and had insufficient or variable amounts that were difficult to detect. As a result, laboratory freezing and regrowth tests provide more substantive data for use in determining cold tolerance in geophytic Lilium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationXI International Symposium on Flower Bulbs and Herbaceous Perennials
EditorsI. BaktIr, W.B. Miller, R. Kamenetsky
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Jul 15 2013

Publication series

NameActa Horticulturae
ISSN (Print)0567-7572


  • Bulb tissue
  • Freezing injury
  • Lilium


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