Orthodox seeds and resurrection plants: Two of a kind?

Maria Cecília Dias Costa*, Keren Cooper, Henk W.M. Hilhorst, Jill M. Farrant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Although staple crops do not survive extended periods of drought, their seeds possess desiccation tolerance (DT), as they survive almost complete dehydration (desiccation) during the late maturation phase of development. Resurrection plants are plant species whose seeds and vegetative tissues are desiccation tolerant. Vegetative DT first arose with the transition from aquatic to terrestrial life forms, but it was lost as plants acquired mechanisms for drought resistance. DT was then confined to seeds, spores, and pollen grains. We review evidence suggesting that angiosperm resurrection plants have reactivated the seed DT program in vegetative tissues. Novel omics technologies are providing a better understanding of the changes necessary for this reactivation and may aid in the development of crop varieties that are better able to survive extreme drought conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-599
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

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