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FEBS Lett. 2004 Feb 13;559(1-3):61-5.

A role for expansins in dehydration and rehydration of the resurrection plant Craterostigma plantagineum.

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CNAP, Department of Biology, University of York, PO Box 373, York YO10 5YW, UK.


Craterostigma plantagineum is one of the few higher plants capable of surviving desiccation throughout its vegetative tissues. Water loss results in cell shrinkage and a commensurate folding of the cell wall indicating an unusual degree of wall flexibility. We show that wall extensibility undergoes a marked increase during dehydration and rehydration. Similar increases were observed in the activity of expansins in cell walls during these processes suggesting a role for these proteins in increasing wall flexibility. Three alpha-expansin cDNAs were cloned from dehydrating leaves and transcript levels for one correlated closely with the observed changes in expansin activity during the dehydration and rehydration of leaves.

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