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Variability in Functional Traits along an Environmental Gradient in the South African Resurrection Plant Myrothamnus flabellifoliaMany desiccation-tolerant plants are widely distributed and exposed to substantial environmental variation across their native range. These environmental differences generate site-specific selective pressures that could drive natural variation in desiccation tolerance across populations. If identified, such natural variation can be used to target tolerance-enhancing characteristics and identify trait associations within a common genetic background. Here, we tested for natural variation in desiccation tolerance across wild populations of the South African resurrection plant Myrothamnus flabellifolia. We surveyed a suite of functional traits related to desiccation tolerance, leaf economics, and reproductive allocation in M. flabellifolia to test for trait associations and tradeoffs.more »Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
Two Decades of Desiccation Biology: A Systematic Review of the Best Studied Angiosperm Resurrection PlantsResurrection plants have an extraordinary ability to survive extreme water loss but still revive full metabolic activity when rehydrated. These plants are useful models to understand the complex biology of vegetative desiccation tolerance. Despite extensive studies of resurrection plants, many details underlying the mechanisms of desiccation tolerance remain unexplored. To summarize the progress in resurrection plant research and identify unexplored questions, we conducted a systematic review of 15 model angiosperm resurrection plants. This systematic review provides an overview of publication trends on resurrection plants, the geographical distribution of species and studies, and the methodology used. Using the Preferred Reporting Itemsmore »Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
Grasses are among the most resilient plants, and some can survive prolonged desiccation in semiarid regions with seasonal rainfall. However, the genetic elements that distinguish grasses that are sensitive versus tolerant to extreme drying are largely unknown. Here, we leveraged comparative genomic approaches with the desiccation-tolerant grass Eragrostis nindensis and the related desiccation-sensitive cereal Eragrostis tef to identify changes underlying desiccation tolerance. These analyses were extended across C4 grasses and cereals to identify broader evolutionary conservation and divergence. Across diverse genomic datasets, we identified changes in chromatin architecture, methylation, gene duplications, and expression dynamics related to desiccation in E. nindensismore »