Discovered a plant that goes into hibernation
the plants can go into "hibernation" too. The discovery of a group of researchers at the University of Pisa who has just published a scientific paper on PlosOne international journal in which it highlights the extraordinary ability of a herbaceous plant, Festuca arundinacea L., to tolerate extremely restrictive environmental conditions for long periods.
"Higher plants can overcome long periods of dormancy, even many years, in dehydrated form of seed - explained Lorenzo Guglielminetti of Pisa University - today, however, a perfectly hydrated herbaceous plant had never been described in a position to withstand long in total starvation conditions, in the dark, and therefore not capable of producing energy by fotosintes, and the intense cold. "
The study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Agro-environmental: the group of Lorenzo Guglielminetti (Antonio Pompeiano, Claudia Roberta Damiani, Sara Stefanini and Thais Huarancca Reyes) in collaboration with colleagues Marco Volterrani and Paul Hand wheels. In particular, the scientists found that the Festuca, formerly used as fodder and today used profusely in the establishment of lawns, is able to germinate in the dark at temperatures around 4 ° C and to grow, albeit at very low speed, in these conditions for about two hundred days. After this period, after the other reserve substances, the plant drastically slows down the metabolism and stops the growth in expectation of favorable environmental conditions. The wait can last several hundred days, after which the plant, when exposed to light and the acceptable temperature (23 ° C), develops again the photosynthetic apparatus within a few hours and, soon after, resumes growth.
"In our study we described some of the mechanisms through which the Festuca can overcome the long period of stress - said Lorenzo Guglielminetti - further studies in this direction will lead to even more understand the secrets hidden by this species, opening application scenarios huge interest in the genetic improvement of agricultural crops ".
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