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:12/7/2016)... According to a new market research report "Emotion Detection ... Voice Recognition), Service, Application Area, End User, And Region - Global Forecast to ... 6.72 Billion in 2016 to USD 36.07 Billion by 2021, at a Compound ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... WARSAW, Ind. , Dec. 6, 2016  Zimmer Biomet ... that it has priced an offering of €500.0 million principal ... €500.0 million principal amount of its 2.425% senior unsecured notes ... is expected to occur on December 13, 2016, subject to the ... on an annual basis. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... The report "Biometric Vehicle Access ... (Iris Recognition System), Vehicle Type (Passenger Car, Battery ... 2021", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is estimated ... is projected to grow to USD 854.8 Million ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160303/792302) ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/8/2016)... , Dec. 8, 2016  Biotheranostics today announced ... role of the Breast Cancer Index (BCI) in ... cancer are most at-risk for disease recurrence and ... results from three studies advancing the understanding of ... to tumor biology and inform decisions related to ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... USA, and CARDIFF, UK (PRWEB) , ... December ... ... with very high precision light to control cells — optogenetics — is key ... the current state of the art, spatially patterned light projected via free-space optics ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... -- Oxford Gene Technology (OGT), The ... range with the launch of the SureSeq myPanel™ NGS Custom ... in familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The panel delivers single nucleotide variation ... small panel and allows customisation by ,mix and match, of ... LDLR , P C SK9 , ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... exceptionally efficient human mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (hMSC) expansion medium. This single ... engineered to radically streamline culture processes, minimize processing time, significantly decrease production ...
Breaking Biology Technology: