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- RESPONSES TO DEHYDRATION
- STRATEGIES OF RESURRECTION PLANTS TO COPE WITH VARIOUS STRESSES
Water is a major limiting factor in growth and reproduction in plants. The ability of tissues to survive desiccation is commonly found in seeds or pollen but rarely present in vegetative tissues. Resurrection plants are remarkable as they can tolerate almost complete water loss from their vegetative tissues such as leaves and roots. Metabolism is shut down as they dehydrate and the plants become apparently lifeless. Upon rehydration these plants recover full metabolic competence and ‘resurrect’. In order to cope with desiccation, resurrection plants have to overcome a number of stresses as water is lost from the cells, among them oxidative stress, destabilization or loss of membrane integrity and mechanical stress. This review will mainly focus on the effect of dehydration in angiosperm resurrection plants and some of the strategies developed by these plants to tolerate desiccation. Resurrection plants are important experimental models and understanding the physiological and molecular aspects of their desiccation tolerance is of great interest for developing drought-tolerant crop species adapted to semi-arid areas.