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The resurrection plant Sporobolus stapfianus: An unlikely model for engineering enhanced plant biomass?

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journal contribution
posted on 2010-12-01, 00:00 authored by C Blomstedt, C Griffiths, D Fredericks, John Hamill, D Gaff, A Neale
The resurrection grass Sporobolus stapfianus Gandoger can rapidly recover from extended periods of time in the desiccated state (water potential equilibrated to 2% relative humidity) (Gaff and Ellis, Bothalia 11:305–308 1974; Gaff and Loveys, Transactions of the Malaysian Society of Plant Physiology 3:286–287 1993). Physiological studies have been conducted in S. stapfianus to investigate the responses utilised by these desiccation-tolerant plants to cope with severe water-deficit. In a number of instances, more recent gene expression analyses in S. stapfianus have shed light on the molecular and cellular mechanisms mediating these responses. S. stapfianus is a versatile research tool for investigating desiccation-tolerance in vegetative grass tissue, with several useful characteristics for differentiating desiccation-tolerance adaptive genes from the many dehydration-responsive genes present in plants. A number of genes orthologous to those isolated from dehydrating S. stapfianus have been successfully used to enhance drought and salt tolerance in model plants as well as important crop species. In addition to the ability to desiccate and rehydrate successfully, the survival of resurrection plants in regions experiencing short sporadic rainfall events may depend substantially on the ability to tightly down-regulate cell division and cell wall loosening activities with decreasing water availability and then grow rapidly after rainfall while water is plentiful. Hence, an analysis of gene transcripts present in the desiccated tissue of resurrection plants may reveal important growth-related genes. Recent findings support the proposition that, as well as being a versatile model for devising strategies for protecting plants from water-loss, resurrection plants may be a very useful tool for pinpointing genes to target for enhancing growth rate and biomass production.

History

Journal

Plant growth regulation

Volume

62

Pagination

217 - 232

Location

Berlin, Germany

Open access

  • Yes

ISSN

1573-5087

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2010, Springer

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