Navigation Links
South African 'living stone' plant adapts to extreme conditions in new ways
Date:10/23/2013

A unique plant that lives underground uses multiple mechanisms to boost photosynthesis and offers new insights into how plants adapt to extreme conditions, according to new research published October 23 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, by Katie Field and colleagues at the University of Sheffield and other institutions.

Lithops are a type of South African "living stone," a mostly underground plant that lives in extremely dry conditions. This underground life makes it difficult to get enough sun to photosynthesize while still conserving as much water as possible. Lithops has many adaptations to help it do just this, including a top surface with "windows" of translucent pockets that allows light penetration to photosynthetic tissues deep within the subterranean leaf. Cleverly, these windows also have sunscreen properties to block out harmful UV light.

But too much light can also be a problem, resulting in excess energy that cannot be used effectively for photosynthesis. To offset this excess energy and protect themselves against damage, plants with above-ground photosynthetic organs use a process known as non-photochemical quenching (NPQ).

The authors here use a combination of techniques to show that individual leaves of a Lithops species have adaptations for both high light and shade tolerance, revealing for the first time the physiological mechanisms employed to optimize above-ground and subterranean photosynthesis while minimizing water loss within its extremely dry environment. Specifically, they found local differences in surface adaptations (windows) combined with regional physiological differences in the outer cell shape and chemistry and photosynthetic mechanisms, which are dependent on whether the leaf is deep underground or just above ground. This is the first time such physiological flexibility has been observed in Lithops, and offers new insight into how plants respond and adapt to extreme conditions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kallie Huss
onepress@plos.org
415-568-3162
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Richness mapping and prediction of amphibians in Southern and Central China
2. Weather, yield compared for horticultural crops in Wisconsin, southern Ontario
3. UTSA, Southwest Research Institute to develop low-cost method to treat fracking water
4. UTSA, Southwest Research Institute to develop drug-loaded scaffold for bone grafting
5. Leopoldina signs cooperation agreement with the Academy of Science of South Africa
6. Southerners are less trusting, but trust is a factor in environmental cooperation, study shows
7. UT Southwestern researchers identify novel mechanism that helps stomach bug cause illness
8. N.C.s Southern Cricket Frog populations declining
9. Japan, China and South Korea account for 84 percent of the macroalgae patents
10. Bioeconomy as a solution for South Australias declining forest industry
11. Illegal marijuana grows threaten fishers in the southern Sierra Nevada
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
South African 'living stone' plant adapts to extreme conditions in new ways
(Date:1/26/2017)... , Jan. 26, 2017  Acuity Market Intelligence ... Biometrics and Digital Identity".  Acuity characterizes 2017 as ... when increased adoption reflects a new understanding of ... "Biometrics and digital identity are often perceived ... Maxine Most , Principal of Acuity Market intelligence. ...
(Date:1/24/2017)...  It sounds simple and harmless—an electronic sensor ... signs and alerts parents on their smart phones ... drops. But pediatric experts argue that such devices ... evidence of medical benefits, especially to healthy babies. ... parents of healthy babies, promising peace of mind ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... , January 19, 2017 According to a new ... and Forecast, 2014 - 2022," the global biometric sensor market is expected to ... to 2022. In 2015, Asia-Pacific dominated the global market ... private sectors. Continue Reading ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... Today, researchers can fast-track sample ... acid, and/or other biomarkers or SNPs of interest) using one, easy-to-collect saliva sample. ... the relationship between insulin and other relevant biomarkers can be extensively studied through ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ANGELES , Feb. 23, 2017  Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... and other medical conditions, today announced that Linda Marbán, Ph.D, ... two upcoming investor conferences: Cowen and ... at 10:00 am ET Boston, MA ... 2017 at 9:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET) ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... and SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 23, ... medicine company, and Beyond Type 1, a not-for-profit advocacy ... diabetes, today announced a grant from Beyond Type 1 ... for type 1 and other insulin-requiring diabetes.  ... developing innovative stem cell-derived cell replacement therapies with a ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... 22, 2017  Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETX), a pet ... innovative biopharmaceutical products for companion animals, will host a live ... ET to discuss financial results from the fourth quarter and ... participants and investors may access the audio webcast ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: