Date of Graduation

Spring 2017


Master of Science in Plant Science (Agriculture)


School of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Chin-Feng Hwang


Vitis aestivalis derived Norton is an American grape species common throughout the Midwest. Norton grapes are known for their disease resistance, high antioxidant content and cold hardiness; however, they typically have a lower wine quality than European varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon. Thus, there is a desire for new grape varieties with both the durability of native grapes and the quality of European grapes. This study focuses on the cold hardiness of Norton and Cabernet Sauvignon hybrids. Buds were collected from each hybrid once per month from December to February during the winters of 2015-2016 and 2016-217. The buds were attached to sensors and placed in a freezer. As the buds froze, heat was released. This change in energy was registered as a change in electrical signal, and data was collected by a computer and recorded in a spreadsheet. The data were then analyzed to find the temperature at which 50% of each bud was killed for each hybrid (LT50) and the buds were no longer viable. The goal of this project was to find the areas of the hybrids' genome that control for cold hardiness and use that information for future grape breeding projects. The data shows that no one gene or chromosome is responsible for cold hardiness in our population; however, the study suggests that several genes may play a small role.


cold hardiness, acclimation, low temperature exotherm, norton, cabernet sauvignon, molecular breeding, quantitative trait loci

Subject Categories

Plant Sciences


© Daniel Bracy Adams

Open Access