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Physiological consequences of desiccation in the aquatic bryophyte Fontinalis antipyretica



Physiological consequences of desiccation in the aquatic bryophyte Fontinalis antipyretica



Planta 234(1): 195-205



The moss Fontinalis antipyretica, an aquatic bryophyte previously described as desiccation-intolerant, is known to survive intermittent desiccation events in Mediterranean rivers. To better understand the mechanisms of desiccation tolerance in this species and to reconcile the apparently conflicting evidence between desiccation tolerance classifications and field observations, gross photosynthesis and chlorophyll a fluorescence were measured in field-desiccated bryophyte tips and in bryophyte tips subjected in the laboratory to slow, fast, and very fast drying followed by either a short (30 min) or prolonged (5 days) recovery. Our results show, for the first time, that the metabolic response of F. antipyretica to desiccation, both under field and laboratory conditions, is consistent with a desiccation-tolerance pattern; however, drying must proceed slowly for the bryophyte to regain its pre-desiccation state following rehydration. In addition, the extent of dehydration was found to influence metabolism whereas the drying rate determined the degree of recovery. Photosystem II (PSII) regulation and structural maintenance may be part of the induced desiccation tolerance mechanism allowing this moss to recover from slow drying. The decrease in the photochemical quenching coefficient (qP) immediately following rehydration may serve to alleviate the effects of excess energy on photosystem I (PSI), while low-level non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) would allow an energy shift enabling recovery subsequent to extended periods of desiccation. The findings were confirmed in field-desiccated samples, whose behavior was similar to that of samples slowly dried in the laboratory.

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Accession: 055001562

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21399950

DOI: 10.1007/s00425-011-1388-x


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