Researchers discover novel molecular mechanism that enables conifers to adapt to winter

Unlike broadleaf trees, conifers are evergreen and retain their photosynthesis structure throughout the year. Especially in late winter, the combination of freezing temperatures and high light intensity exposes the needles to oxidative damage that could lead to the destruction of molecules and cell structures that contribute to photosynthesis. Researchers from the University of Turku have discovered a previously unknown mechanism that enables spruce trees to adapt to winter.