This review will focus on the acquisition of desiccation tolerance in the resurrection plant Craterostigma plantagineum. Molecular aspects of desiccation tolerance in this plant will be compared with the response of non-tolerant plants to dehydration. Unique features of C. plantagineum are described like the CDT-1 (Craterostigma desiccation tolerance gene-1) gene and the carbohydrate metabolism. Abundant proteins which are associated with the desiccation tolerance phenomenon are the late embryogenesis abundant (=LEA) proteins. These proteins are very hydrophilic and occur in several other species which have acquired desiccation tolerance.
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Vol. 45 • No. 5