Abstract Detail


Chambers, Sally [1], Cole, Piper [2], Li, Fay-Wei [3].

Physiological and Genetic Responses to Varying Degrees of Desiccation in Fern Gametophytes.

Early land plants were faced with developing adaptive strategies that allowed for the occupation of terrestrial land, which was much drier than the aquatic ecosystems of their algal progenitors. Ferns, some of the oldest living land plants, retain some of these adaptive mechanisms crucial for survival on land. One example is desiccation tolerance: an ability to recover from stressful conditions experienced in low relative humidity levels. Ferns have been shown to express desiccation tolerance in both the gametophyte and sporophyte life stages, which is astounding given the fact that gametophytes lack a protective cuticle and vascular system to transport water. In this study, we seek to understand the patterns of, and mechanisms involved in, desiccation tolerance as exhibited by various fern species. Here, we highlight preliminary findings associated with one study species, Phlebodium aureum, which has a fast growth habit and relatively large gametophytes ideal for experimentation. We exposed P. aureum gametophytes to one of four desiccation treatments or a control. Desiccation treatments involved various saturated salt solutions that manipulated relative humidity (Ψ) as follows: 12% (LiCl; Ψ = −282.4 MPa), 33% (MgCl2; Ψ = −150 MPa), 75% (NaCl; Ψ = −38.4 MPa), and 85% (KCl; Ψ = −21.5 MPa). Physiological measurements were taken over a period of 36-72 hours using a chlorophyll fluorometer and the tissue was frozen in liquid nitrogen for subsequent genomic analyses. The associated genomics analyses will examine changes in gene expression, proteome, and metabolome as the gametophytes dehydrate and rehydrate over time. This project will contribute greatly to our understanding of land plant evolution and may foster future research for arid crop development.

1 - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 1534 Mound Street, Sarasota, FL, 34236, United States
2 - New College of Florida, Natural Sciences, 5800 Bayshore Road, Box 90, Sarasota, FL, 34243, United States
3 - Boyce Thompson Institute, 105 Valley Road, Ithaca, NY, 14850, United States

dessication tolerance
relative humidity manipulation
gene expression

Presentation Type: Poster
Number: PPT004
Abstract ID:289
Candidate for Awards:None

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