The biomass crop Miscanthus x giganteus has a high chilling tolerance for a C4 plant, allowing for a longer productive growing season in temperate climates. The understanding of the mechanisms that underlie chilling tolerance in the genus Miscanthus is limited, but could help breeding adapted varieties and aid the development of cold tolerant C4 crops.
Fonteyne et al. study chilling related traits in five species and hybrid genotypes under natural conditions in the field. The two most chilling tolerant genotypes are distinct from the two chilling sensitive genotypes in a number of the biochemical traits measured, while M. x giganteus had intermediate characteristics.