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Treichel, S., Brinckmann, E., Scheitler, B. and von Willert, D.J. 1984. Occurrence and changes of proline content in plants in the southern Namib Desert in relations to increasing and decreasing drought. Planta, 162(3): 236-242


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Occurrence and changes of proline content in plants in the southern Namib Desert in relations to increasing and decreasing drought.

Summary / Notes:

Over a period of seven years (1977–1983) the proline content and its responses to climatic changes were investigated in plants — especially Mesembryanthemaceae — in the southern Namib Desert (South Africa). Among 95 species in 26 families, 61 had detectable amounts of proline. In several of these species the proline content increased considerably in years with insufficient rainfall but decreased when the rainfall was abundant again. When individuals of the same species were grown at different sites, water availability in the soil determined their proline content. Many of the investigated species showed a clear diurnal fluctuation in their proline content with a remarkable proline accumulation during times of highest evaporative demand. In general, the higher the proline content the more pronounced were the changes, indicating that in these species-predominantly annual plants — proline was most probably involved in drought tolerance. The observation that proline accumulation and degradation reacted sensitively to changing climatic conditions over many years confirmed the correlation of proline synthesis to increasing water stress as postulated by the results of laboratory experiments with Mesembryanthemaceae. Keywords: Drought stress, Namib Desert, Mesembryanthemaceae, Proline accumulation (drought stress), Water stress.

Year: 1984

Type: Journal Article

URL: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00397445


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