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  • 1 Hungarian Academy of Sciences Agricultural Institute, Centre for Agricultural Research Martonvásár Hungary
  • 2 University of Pannonia Faculty of Information Technology, Research Institute of Chemical and Process Engineering Veszprém Hungary
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Freezing tolerance is a quantitative trait, determined by many genes and also influenced by environmental factors. Thus, the development of reliable testing methods is a prerequisite both for the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and for the identification of the genes behind the QTLs. Transformation methods proved to be effective in the direct verification of isolated genes involved in low temperature stress responses. In order to develop freezing tolerance, winter cereals must be adapted through a cold hardening period, which not only influences cold adaptation but also initiates the vernalization process necessary for flowering. Recent and ongoing studies are endeavouring to uncover the relationship between freezing tolerance and vernalization response at the genetic and molecular levels. This review aims to explain cereal freezing tolerance on the basis of recent discoveries in the areas outlined above.

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