This volume is compiled based on the proceedings of the 5th International Plant Cold Hardiness Seminar, which was held at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, August 5 to 8, 1996. Participants representing 16 nations and 22 U. S. states attended the seminar. Researchers came from major laboratories around the world involving plant cold hardiness research. The information compiled in this volume represents the state-of the-art research and our understanding of plant cold hardiness in terms of molecular biol ogy, biochemistry, and physiology. The 1996 International Plant Cold Hardiness Seminar was the fifth of the series; it was first held in 1977 at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, and since then has met every 5 years. The overall goal of this seminar series is to foster the exchange of ideas and research findings among the diverse groups of scientists studying freezing and chilling stresses from a wide variety of perspectives. This is the only international conference focus ing its programs entirely on low temperature stress in plants. In accordance with the tradi tion, the fifth conference focused on freezing and chilling stress of plants and covered various aspects of plant cold hardiness, including molecular genetics, biochemistry, physi ology, and agricultural applications. All contributors to this volume are eminent researchers who have had significant contributions to the knowledge of plant cold hardiness.