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Submitted by mpetracchi on Thu, 11/14/2019 - 20:56

All flora on earth requires water to survive. From small mosses to large trees, water is essential to life on earth. So what were to happen if an environment experienced an extreme drought? Could life survive? It turns out many plants have developed methods of preventing their death due to water loss, also known as desiccation. These desiccation-tolerant plants produce proteins and morphological changes in response to low levels of water. Cells are mostly made of water so in the case of water loss they would shrivel up and cease to function. In a D-Tolerant plant, sugars such as trehalose are synthesized and transported to cells who are experiencing shrinkage. They replace the water and maintain membrane integrity. A problem these plants face is how to repair damage to UV light and radiation when in this low metabolic state. One solution is to simply produce more pigments and extracellular sugars to block the incoming rays before they even become a problem.