Farinose flavonoids are associated with high freezing tolerance in fairy primrose (Primula malacoides) plants

Ryutaro Isshiki, Ivan Galis, Shigemi Tanakamaru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The deposition of surface (farinose) flavonoids on aerial parts of some Primula species is a well-documented but poorly understood phenomenon. Here, we show that flavonoid deposition on the leaves and winter buds may contribute strongly to preventing freezing damage in these plants. The ice nucleation temperature of fairy primrose (Primula malacoides) leaves covered with natural flavone was approximately 6°C lower compared to those that had their flavone artificially removed. Additionally, farinose flavonoids on the leaves reduced subsequent electrolyte leakage (EL) from the cells exposed to freezing temperatures. Interestingly, exogenous application of flavone at 4mg/g fresh weight to P. malacoides leaves, which had the original flavone mechanically removed, restored freezing tolerance, and diminished EL from the cells to pretreatment values. Our results suggest that farinose flavonoids may function as mediators of freezing tolerance in P. malacoides, and exogenous application of flavone could be used to reduce freezing damage during sudden but predictable frost events in other plant species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-188
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Integrative Plant Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Flavonoids
  • Freezing tolerance
  • Ice nucleation temperature
  • Plant protection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Plant Science


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