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The subjection of seeds or seedlings to low temperature in order to hasten plant development and flowering. Vernalization is commonly used for crop plants such as winter rye and is possible because the seeds and buds of many plants require cold in order to break dormancy.
the artificial exposure of plants (or seeds) to low temperatures in order to stimulate flowering or to enhance seed production. By satisfying the cold requirement of many temperate-zone plants, flowering can be induced to occur earlier than normal or in warm climates lacking the requisite seasonal chilling. Knowledge of this process has been used to eliminate the normal two-year growth cycle required of winter wheat. By partially germinating the seed and then chilling it to 0 C (32 F) until spring, it is possible to cause winter wheat to produce a crop in the same year.