Desiccation-related responses of antioxidative enzymes and photosynthetic pigments in Brachythecium procumbens (Mitt.) A. Jaeger

  • Pooja Bansal
  • Alka SrivastavaEmail author
Original Article


Desiccation, a major environmental stress, affects water potential and turgor in the plants leading to physiological imbalance. Though bryophytes have the ability to endure desiccation, the adverse environmental conditions may cause them to dry irreversibly. In the present study, desiccation tolerance mechanism of Brachythecium procumbens (Mitt.) A. Jaeger was analysed in terms of its antioxidative response and photosynthetic pigments. Plants of B. procumbens were subjected to desiccation stress for varying durations (24–96 h) along with control (0 h) at room temperature. Monitoring was done using antioxidant enzyme activities, photosynthetic pigments, chlorophyll stability index, as well as, relative water content. The antioxidative enzymes—superoxide dismutase and peroxidase—showed higher activity in desiccated plants as compared to control and increased significantly with duration of desiccation. However, the activity of catalase decreased during desiccation. The amount of chlorophyll increased up to 48 h of desiccation treatment as compared to control, whereas in rehydrated samples, relatively lower value was obtained. Majority of bryophytes may withstand a certain level of desiccation for at least a few days, but some are much more tolerant than that. The bryophyte system studied showed basic difference in enzyme activities and chlorophyll under different periods of desiccation. Hence, drought-tolerant genera need to be identified and propagated so that some pioneer colonizers of the ecosystem are naturally conserved.


Brachythecium procumbens Bryophyta Drought stress Desiccation tolerance Reactive oxygen species Rehydration 



We thank the University Grants Commission (U.G.C.), New Delhi for financial assistance. This work was supported by the University Grants Commission [F.4-2/2006(BSR)/BL/13-14/0375].

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All the authors contributed equally and declared that there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.In Vitro Culture and Plant Genetics Unit, Department of BotanyUniversity of LucknowLucknowIndia

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