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Abstract Detail


John, Susan P [1], Hasenstein, Karl [2].

Drying without dying- the Resurrection fern, Pleopletis polypodioides.

The resurrection fern Pleopeltis polypodioides survives extended periods of desiccation, and recovers when (rain) water becomes available. However, very little is known about the mechanisms adopted by this plant to sustain water stress. By exploring the morphological and physiological features unique to this plant and by determining potential transcripts up-regulated in response to water stress, we have identified various components that are likely to be involved in providing tolerance. Our results suggest that the peltate scales (trichomes) present on the abaxial surface of the plant help in water management by facilitating the spreading of water along the surface of the fern and in the absorption of water. Removal of the scales not only reduced re-hydration but also reduced water retention and metabolic functioning of the fronds. Biochemical analysis suggests that antioxidant enzymes such as catalase and glutathione oxidizing enzymes, and fatty acids play an important role in protecting the membrane from extensive damage. The RNA-Seq results suggest that transcripts associated with the biosynthesis of fatty acids, secondary metabolites, and maintenance of photosynthetic organelles are largely expressed under fresh conditions. However, as the dehydration proceeds, transcripts associated with oxidoreductive and antioxidant activities, response to hormone and light signaling, carbohydrate metabolism, nucleic acid maintenance, protective maintenance of photosystems I and II, and cytoskeletal re-arrangement are more prevalent than the fresh condition. These results not only provide a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms adopted by the fern to tolerate stress but also opens the scope of applying this knowledge in designing drought-resistant crops in the future.

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1 - University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Biology, 410 E. St. Mary Blvd, Billeaud Hall, Lafayette, LA, 70504, United States
2 - University Of Louisiana, Department Of Biology, 410 E. St. Mary Blvd, Lafayette, LA, 70503, United States

Pleopeltis polypodioides
Drought Tolerance

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: PTR1, Pteridology I
Location: /
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 10:15 AM(EDT)
Number: PTR1002
Abstract ID:375
Candidate for Awards:Edgar T. Wherry award

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