Bryophytes are a non-monophyletic group of three major lineages (liverworts, hornworts, and mosses) that descend from the earliest branching events in the phylogeny of land plants. We postulate that desiccation tolerance is a primitive trait, thus mechanisms by which the first land plants achieved tolerance may be reflected in how extant desiccation-tolerant bryophytes survive drying. Evidence is consistent with extant bryophytes employing a tolerance strategy of constitutive cellular protection coupled with induction of a recovery/repair mechanism upon rehydration. Cellular structures appear intact in the desiccated state but are disrupted by rapid uptake of water upon rehydration, but cellular integrity is rapidly regained. The photosynthetic machinery appears to be protected such that photosynthetic activity recovers quickly. Gene expression responds following rehydration and not during drying. Gene expression is translationally controlled and results in the synthesis of a number of proteins, collectively called rehydrins. Some prominent rehydrins are similar to Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) proteins, classically ascribed a protection function during desiccation. The role of LEA proteins in a rehydrating system is unknown but data indicates a function in stabilization and reconstitution of membranes. Phylogenetic studies using a Tortula ruralis LEA-like rehydrin led to a re-examination of the evolution of desiccation tolerance. A new phylogenetic analysis suggests that: (i) the basic mechanisms of tolerance seen in modern day bryophytes have changed little from the earliest manifestations of desiccation tolerance in land plants, and (ii) vegetative desiccation tolerance in the early land plants may have evolved from a mechanism present first in spores.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 45 • No. 5