The unusual sugar composition in leaves of the resurrection plant Myrothamnus flabellifolia


D. Bartels (corresponding author)


To understand mechanisms of osmoprotection, the composition of sugars and related compounds were analyzed in extracts of fully hydrated and desiccated leaves of the desiccation-tolerant resurrection plant Myrothamnus flabellifolia. During the dehydration process the concentrations of fructose and glucose decrease, whereas sucrose, arbutin and glucopyranosyl-β-glycerol increase. The substances were identified by GC-MS and NMR-analyses. This is the first report of large amounts of glucopyranosyl-β-glycerol in higher plants which may act as an osmoprotectant. Significant levels of the nonreducing sugar trehalose were present in all samples tested.