Abstract Detail

Bryology and Lichenology

Ekwealor, Jenna T. B. [1], Kosina, Suzanne M. [2], Silva, Anderson [3], Northen, Trent R. [2], Mishler, Brent [4].

UV tolerance in Mojave Desert biocrust mosses.

Terrestrial mosses dehydrate and go dormant between precipitation events. Although many mosses are found in cool, low light environments, a number are abundant in drylands. We investigated the effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation on desert mosses Syntrichia caninervis and Sruralis. These species are highly desiccation tolerant; they can lose almost all of their cellular water and recover after rehydration. In nature, desert mosses not only have to withstand the damage of desiccation itself but must also be able to recover from any damage incurred while inert, or have adequate mechanisms for injury prevention. They have no ability for active repair when dry and face risk of damage to sensitive molecules, including DNA, which absorbs UV wavelengths. We used transcriptomics, metabolomics, chlorophyll fluorescence, and morphological measurements in field and laboratory experiments to better understand the dimensions of UV tolerance in Syntrichia. Transcriptomes were compared for differential expression and to identify candidate genes. A growth chamber experiment was performed to test the metabolomic effects of UV radiation and desiccation. Liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy was used to characterize metabolites that are differentially produced and that absorb UV. Finally, 40 naturally occurring patches of Scaninervis were coveredwith UV-filtering (>80% reduction) or UV-transmitting (>80% transmission) windows. Afterone year, patches were compared for key metabolites and transcripts, while chlorophyll fluorescence was used to measure stress. These field and laboratory experiments uncover detailed information about these plants’ response to UV and desiccation, improving our understanding of how they tolerate high levels of UV radiation while desiccated.

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1 - University of California, Berkeley, Integrative Biology, 1001 Valley Life Sciences Building, #2465, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA
2 - Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Joint Genome Institute, 2800 Mitchell Drive, Walnut Creek, CA, 94598, USA
3 - University of Missouri, USDA-ARS, Plant Genetics Research Unit, Columbia, MO, 65211, USA
4 - University Of California, Berkeley, Department Of Integrative Biology, University And Jepson Herbaria, 1001 Valley Life Sciences Building, # 2465, Berkeley, CA, 94720, United States

biological soil crust.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Abstract ID:573
Candidate for Awards:A. J. Sharp Award

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