Dehydration-induced expression of a 31-kDa dehydrin in Polypodium Polypodioides (Polypodiaceae) may enable large, reversible deformation of cell walls.

Current and predicted climate changes caused by global warming compel greater understanding of the molecular mechanisms that plants use to survive drought. The desiccation-tolerant fern Polypodium polypodioides exhibits extensive cell wall folding when dried to less than 15% relative water content (RWC) and rapidly (within 24 h) rehydrates when exposed to water and high humidity. A 31-kDa putative dehydrin polypeptide expressed in partially and fully dry tissues detected via western blotting was present only during drying and rapidly dissipated (within 24 h) upon tissue rehydration. Immunostaining indicates the presence of dehydrin near the cell wall of partially and fully dried tissues. Atomic force microscopy of tracheal scalariform perforations indicates that dry vascular tissue does not undergo signifi cant strain. Additionally, environmental scanning electron microscopy reveals differential hydrophilicity between the abaxial and adaxial leaf surfaces as well as large, reversible deformation. The ability to avoid cell wall damage in some desiccation-tolerant species may be partially attributed to cell wall localization of dehydrins enabling reversible, large cell-wall deformation. Thus, the de novo synthesis of dehydrin proteins and potential localization to the cell walls of these desiccation-tolerant species may play a role in avoiding mechanical failure during drought.

Main Author: Layton, Bradley.
Other Authors: Boyd, M Brent., Tripepi, Manuela., Bitonti, Beatrice., Dollahon, Norman., Balsamo, Ronald.
Format: Villanova Faculty Authorship
Language: English
Published: 2010
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