Navigation Links
The benefits of stress ... in plants
Date:11/19/2009

Chronic stress in humans has been implicated in heart disease, weight gain, and diabetes, among a host of other health problems. Extreme environments, a source of chronic stress, present a challenge even for the hardiest organisms, and plants are no exception. Yet, some species somehow manage to survive, and even thrive, in stressful conditions.

A recent article by Dr. Yuri Springer in the November issue of the American Journal of Botany (http://www.amjbot.org/cgi/content/full/96/11/2010) finds that certain wild flax plants growing in poor soils have succeeded in balancing the stress in their livesthese plants are less likely to experience infection from a fungal pathogen. Walking the fine line between the costs associated with surviving under stressful conditions and the benefits that may be derived from growing in an environment with fewer interactions with antagonistic species is a tricky balancing act.

For plants, serpentine soils are one example of an extreme environment. Serpentine soils are those that provide a stressful medium for plant growth, due to features of the soil, such as a rocky texture, low water-holding capacity, high levels of toxic metals, and/or low levels of necessary nutrients.

Springer assessed the prevalence of fungal infections in species of the wild flax genus. Wild flax provides a model system to study serpentine tolerance; the species exhibit a range of tolerance to soil with low levels of calcium, a necessary nutrient for plant survival. He examined the correlation between disease symptoms and tolerance to serpentine soils in the context of evolutionary relationships among the species.

Springer found that wild flax populations growing in serpentine soils displayed a reduction in fungal infection. These results support the hypothesis that stressful environments may be attractive to plants because they provide a refuge from pathogens; however, the plants need to be able to survive in these extreme ecosystems. In wild flax, the fungal pathogen may have difficulty infecting plants that have low levels of calcium in their tissues due to low levels in the soil. Alternatively, the plants growing in a low nutrient soil may allocate much of their resources to defense against pathogens and herbivores due to the high costs of replacing tissue.

Based on the putative evolutionary history of the wild flaxes, tolerance to serpentine soils has evolved rapidly and repeatedly in the genus or was present in the ancestors of these wild flaxes and lost in several lineages. This is the first study to attempt to quantitatively explain how plants have evolved a specialization to serpentine soils and ultimately may help to explain floristic diversity in these unique environments.


'/>"/>

Contact: Richard Hund
rhund@botany.org
314-577-9557
American Journal of Botany
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New research provides insights into potential ecological costs and cobenefits of REDD
2. Miscounting bioenergy benefits may increase greenhouse gas release
3. Female choice benefits mothers more than offspring
4. Being a standout has its benefits, study shows
5. National new biology initiative offers potential for remarkable and far-reaching benefits
6. Research supports calls to study health benefits of nitrate, nitrite
7. Hybrid vehicle rebates produce scant environmental benefits, high cost
8. Scientists uncork a potential secret of red wines health benefits
9. Health benefits of physical activity more pronounced in women
10. Two dietary oils, two sets of benefits for older women with diabetes
11. Battle of the sexes benefits offspring, says research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... RATON, Florida , March 31, 2016 ... LEGX ) ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") ... for potential users of its soon to be launched ... video ( https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyTLBzmZogV1y2D6bDkBX5g ) will also provide ... the use of DNA technology to an industry that ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... India , March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer ... Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & IT, ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... industry is expected to reach USD 26.76 ...
(Date:3/17/2016)... March 17, 2016 ABI Research, the ... the global biometrics market will reach more than ... increase from 2015. Consumer electronics, particularly smartphones, continue ... sensors anticipated to reach two billion shipments by ... Dimitrios Pavlakis , Research Analyst at ABI Research. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the company’s orphan drug designation ... company’s second orphan drug designation granted by the FDA. , Spinocerebellar ataxia ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... Rockville, Maryland (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 ... ... introduction of a newly re-branded identity. The new Media Cybernetics corporate branding reflects ... the world of imaging and image analysis. The re-branding components include a crisp, ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... -- Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry will ... ET before the United States House Committee on Science, Space ... in controlling the spread of the Aedes aegypti ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150630/227348 ) Oxitec has ... Trials in Brazil , Panama ...
(Date:5/22/2016)... ... May 22, 2016 , ... Doctors in Rome say micronutrients found ... cancer, malignant mesothelioma. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an article on the new research. ... Rome’s Department of Clinical Sciences and Translational Medicine evaluated more than 150 studies on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: