Submitted to: Journal of Plant Growth Regulation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 9, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The authors present new work on mechanisms of recovery from desiccation in plants, specifically a South African grass. This work is placed within the framework of published research on other desiccation tolerant flowering plants and the more unusual desiccation tolerant mosses and ferns. The conclusions drawn from this manuscript help to set a theoretical framework within which future work to understand the ability of plants to withstand and recover from severe water stress can be directed.
Technical Abstract: The ability of vegetative plant tissues to survive desiccation is an uncommon trait, although plants that are able to do this represent all major classes of plants. Two classes of vegetative desiccation tolerant plants exist; those that are modified desiccation-tolerant and can only survive desiccation if drying rates are slow, and those that are fully desiccation-tolerant and can survive even rapid drying rates. Investigations into the cellular level responses of these two types of plants has lead to an understanding of the underlying mechanisms of desiccation tolerance. The following proposed mechanisms for desiccation-tolerance are presented. Modified desiccation-tolerant plants utilize inducible cellular protection systems supplemented in part by a minor rehydration induced repair component. Fully desiccation-tolerant plants utilize a rehydration induced repair system that is complemented by a constitutive protection component. This manuscript presents new data for desiccation-tolerant grasses and explores the evidence for the above proposed mechanisms in an attempt to lay the theoretical ground work for future work in this area.