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Desiccation Tolerance in the Moss Hyophila propagulifera : Coordinated Physiological
and Biochemical Responses during Desiccation and Recovery

C. Ramyashree, T. G. Banupriya, N. S. Yathisha and R. G. Sharathchandra
Department of Studies and Research in Biotechnology, Prof. C. N. R. Rao Block, Tumkur University, Tumakuru572 103 (Karnataka), India
*(e-mail :; Mobile : 8095502894)
(Received : September 22, 2020; Accepted : November 18, 2020)


Hyophila propagulifera is a thalloid bryophyte which is found on rock or soil walls near streams and possesses desiccation tolerance properties. An extensive field survey was conducted to collect H. propagulifera from Western Ghats of Karnataka state of India which was identified on morphological characteristics. The collected H. propagulifera plants were hydrated and subsequently desiccated under laboratory conditions. The relative water content (RWC) rapidly decreased in desiccated stage from 100 to 17% along with some morphological changes like inward curving. The RWC of desiccated plants regained its original weight of approximately 95% during rehydration. Lipid peroxidation, electrolyte
leakage leading to permeability of the membranes and superoxide radicals also increased due to desiccation stress. However, to counter the effects of ROS during desiccation, the activities of the antioxidant enzymes increased, as well as the osmo protectants like proline and sucrose were increased. Additionally, the photosynthetic activity during desiccation in terms of chl a/chl b ratio showed no major changes. The results from this study can help in understanding the desiccation tolerance mechanisms induced in H. propagulifera to counter desiccation stress.
Key words : : Hyophila propagulifera, desiccation tolerance, relative water content, SEM, proline and ROS