• Lipids play a crucial role in the maintenance of the structural and functional integrity of the water-conducting elements and cells of the resurrection plant Myrothamnus flabellifolia during complete dehydration. • Lipid composition, mobility and distribution within the internodai and nodal xylem regions (including short shoots and leaves) were investigated in the presence and absence of water by using various nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and imaging techniques differing greatly in the level of spatial resolution and acquisition of lipid parameters. • Significant findings include: a discontinuity in the branch xylem between an inner zone where no water moves and an outer zone where the water moves; the blocking of water movement in the inner zone by lipids that are not dispersed by water, and the facilitation of water advance in the xylem elements and pits of the outer zone by water-dispersed lipids; the relative impermeability of leaf trace xylem to the rehydrating water and, hence, the relative hydraulic isolation of the leaves. • These results elucidated part of the strategy used by the resurrection plant to cope with extreme drought and to minimize transpirational water loss upon hydration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science