From small mosses to large trees, all flora on earth requires water to survive. So what were to happen if an environment experienced an extreme drought? Could life survive? Some plants have developed methods of preventing their death due to water loss, a state which is also known as desiccation. Living cells would normally shrivel up and cease to function, however, some have become tolerant to that stress. These desiccation-tolerant plants produce proteins and morphological changes in response to low water levels. In a desiccation-tolerant plant, its cells synthesize sugars such as trehalose and transport them to cells who are experiencing shrinkage. Trehalose replaces the water and maintains membrane integrity. Another problem desiccation-tolerant plants face is how to repair damage to UV light and radiation when in this low metabolic state. The solution; produce pigments and extracellular sugars to block the incoming rays before they become a problem.
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