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Abstract Detail

Life without water: evolution and adaptation of xeric plants

Edwards, Erika [1].

Evolution and function of a C4-CAM plant: Portulaca, a photosynthetic marvel.

C4 and CAM photosynthesis are two plant metabolic pathways that have evolved from C3 photosynthesis hundreds of times over the past 30 million years. Though biochemically similar, they are thought to represent two ecologically distinct adaptations, with the C4 pathway affording high performance in high light and hot temperatures, and CAM resulting in extreme water use efficiency and drought tolerance. Each pathway requires a unique suite of anatomical characters in order to work efficiently, and conventional wisdom holds that these characters are antagonistic, such that anatomy that facilitates efficient C4 will simultaneously disadvantage a CAM metabolism. This widely accepted view cannot, however, accommodate the enigmatic purslane lineage (Portulaca), the only plants currently known to operate both C4 and CAM cycles within a single leaf. Recent work suggests that ancestral Portulaca was a facultative CAM plant, and evolved a fully functional C4 system while maintaining CAM capability at least three times. We will explore the possible ways in which C4 and CAM cycles might be compartmentalized into different leaf cells and present preiminary data suggesting that Portulaca might possess a novel 2 cell CAM system.

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1 - Yale University, Department Of Ecology And Evolutionary Biology, 165 Prospect St, New Haven, CT, 06511, United States

none specified

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SYM7, Life without water: evolution and adaptation of xeric plants
Location: Tucson I/Starr Pass
Date: Wednesday, July 31st, 2019
Time: 4:45 PM
Number: SYM7008
Abstract ID:986
Candidate for Awards:None

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