Plant Desiccation Tolerance and its Regulation in the Foliage of Resurrection “Flowering-Plant” Species

Cecilia K. Blomstedt, Cara A. Griffiths, Donald F. Gaff, John D. Hamill, Alan D. Neale

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The majority of flowering-plant species can survive complete air-dryness in their seed and/or pollen. Relatively few species (‘resurrection plants’) express this desiccation tolerance in their foliage. Knowledge of the regulation of desiccation tolerance in resurrection plant foliage is reviewed. Elucidation of the regulatory mechanism in resurrection grasses may lead to identification of genes that can improve stress tolerance and yield of major crop species. Well-hydrated leaves of resurrection plants are desiccation-sensitive and the leaves become desiccation tolerant as they are drying. Such drought-induction of desiccation tolerance involves changes in gene-expression causing extensive changes in the complement of proteins and the transition to a highly-stable quiescent state lasting months to years. These changes in gene-expression are regulated by several interacting phytohormones, of which drought-induced abscisic acid (ABA) is particularly important in some species. Treatment with only ABA induces desiccation tolerance in vegetative tissue of Borya constricta Churchill. and Craterostigma plantagineum Hochstetter. but not in the resurrection grass Sporobolus stapfianus Gandoger. Suppression of drought-induced senescence is also important for survival of drying. Further research is needed on the triggering of the induction of desiccation tolerance, on the transition between phases of protein synthesis and on the role of the phytohormone, strigolactone and other potential xylem-messengers during drying and rehydration.

Original languageEnglish
Article number146
Number of pages33
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2018


  • Abscisic acid (ABA)
  • Acetate
  • CLAVATA3/Embryo-surrounding region-related 25 (CLE25) peptide
  • Desiccation-tolerant foliage
  • Gene expression
  • Phytohormones
  • Protein complement
  • Resurrection grass
  • Sporobolus stapfianus
  • Strigolactone

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