Patterns of desiccation tolerance and recovery in bryophytes
- Cite this article as:
- Proctor, M. Plant Growth Regulation (2001) 35: 147. doi:10.1023/A:1014429720821
The study of desiccation tolerance in bryophytes avoids thecomplications of higher-plant vascular systems and complex leaf structures, butremains a multifaceted problem. Some of the pertinent questions have at leastpartial analogues in seed biology – events during a drying-rewettingcyclewith processes in seed maturation and germination, and the gradual loss ofviability on prolonged desiccation, and the relation of this to intensity ofdesiccation and temperature, with parallel questions in seed storage. Pastresearch on bryophyte desiccation tolerance is briefly reviewed. Evidence ispresented from chlorophyll-fluorescence measurements and experiments withmetabolic inhibitors that recovery of photosynthesis in bryophytes followingdesiccation depends mainly on rapid reactivation of pre-existing structures andinvolves only limited de novo protein synthesis. Followinginitial recovery, protein synthesis is demonstrably essential to themaintenanceof photosynthetic function in the light, but the rate of maintenance turnoverinthe dark appears to be slow. Factors leading to long-term desiccation damagearediverse; indications are that desiccation tolerant species often survive bestinthe range −100 to −200 MPa.