How it feels regaining life after months or years? The fact is true for resurrection plants which can survive in extreme dried out conditions even over months or years. But when they are rehydrated they come back to life again. Hence, they are often referred to as “resurrection plants”. The nature the desiccation tolerance of resurrection plants has interested plant scientist for many years. The resurrection plants are extremely drought tolerant and if the genes involved in their cellular mechanism are identified, then it may be possible to use this information to improve drought tolerance in crop plants.
Under dehydrated condition the resurrection plants are in the quiescent state with almost zero metabolic activity. Desiccation tolerance in resurrection plants involves a combination of molecular genetic mechanisms, metabolic and antioxidant systems as well as macromolecular and structural stabilizing processes(Moore et al., 2009). It’s thought that the ability of these plants to survive such extreme dehydration is due to the presence of a sugar called trehalose This molecule protects organisms, including the infamous water bears (tardigrades), from extreme conditions by stabilizing proteins and preserving cellular membranes (www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/awesome-timelapse-resurrection-plant/). Such a unique properties of resurrection have made their life possible in extreme harsh environmental conditions.
Reference: Moore, J.P., et al. (2009) “Towards a systems-based understanding of plant desiccation tolerance.” Trends in Plant Science Vol. 14, pp. 110-117. (Abstract)