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Plant Physiol. 1975 Feb;55(2):340-5.

Plant desiccation and protein synthesis: an in vitro system from dry and hydrated mosses using endogenous and synthetic messenger ribonucleic Acid.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada.


The conditions and requirements for an in vitro protein synthesizing system from the moss Tortula ruralis are outlined. Using this system the effects of desiccation, achieved quickly or slowly, were studied. Slowly dried moss retained fewer polyribosomes on desiccation but more active ribosomes than rapidly dried moss. Even in the completely desiccated moss the polyribosomes and/or free ribosomes present have retained their synthetic capacities. On rehydration, the slowly dried moss resumed protein synthesis more quickly than moss previously desiccated rapidly. Moss ribosomes are cycloheximide sensitive and chloramphenicol insensitive and thus the major protein synthesis occurs within the cytoplasm on rehydration. Extracted polyribosomes per se can withstand desiccation to a significant extent, suggesting that protection by the cytoplasm might not be necessary. The aquatic moss Hygrohypnum luridum can retain polyribosomal and ribosomal activity during desiccation, but this decreases greatly on rehydration.

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