Lithops plants consist of a pair of succulent leaves inserted on a short stem; each growing season young leaves develop in a cavity formed between the older pair. Young leaves can take up water from the older pair allowing the plant to maintain growth and leaf expansion even without external supply of water. Recycling water between vegetative organs is one of the possible adaptation strategies of plants under drought stress, but it had never been demonstrated experimentally in Lithops. The methodology used to verify the existence of water redistribution from old leaves to young leaves was fluorescence microscopy, using two dyes to follow the water pathway inside the plant: Sulforhodamine G (SRG) and 5(6)-carboxyfluoroscein diacetate (CFDA). In Lithops fluorescent tracers loaded into old leaves were found in young leaves, in 74% of the cases for SRG, in 59% of the cases for CFDA. Our data demonstrate that young leaves take up water from the old ones following both a symplastic and an apoplastic pathway. Water recycling is therefore one of the adaptive responses of these plants allowing them to perform at least a complete growth cycle even during prolonged drought stress periods, using the water stored in the older leaves.
|Numero di pagine||5|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2018|
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