Cellular Adaptations to Temperature and Irradiation

Cellular Adaptations to Temperature and Irradiation

Plants living in extreme environments have to face harsh environmental conditions. While much is known at the organismic level on the reaction to extreme temperatures as well as excessive irradiation, little is known on these processes at a cellular level.

We therefore investigate plants from higher mountainous regions, as well as polar regions at a cellular level concerning adaptations of organelles to the environmental situation. The chloroplasts of various vascular plants (eg. Oxyria digyna, Ranunculus glacialis) living in extreme environments show stroma filled protrusions, which emerge in a temperature dependent manner. These structures are believed to facilitate metabolite exchange. The structures are investigated by transmission electron microscopy as well as by a temperature controlled chamber at the light- and confocal microscope.
To get insight in adaptation strategies of marine as well as terrestric algae are investigated concerning their ability to tolerate an experimentally altered UV-A/UV-B ratios. Especially terrestric algae like Prasiola crispa or Zygnema sp. are well tolerating these experimental treatments.

Austrian Science Fund (FWF)

Maureen Hanson, Cornell University, Ithaca, USA
Geoff Wasteneys, UBC, Vancouver, Canada
Ulf Karsten, Rostock, Germany

Personnel Involved:
Andreas Holzinger
Othmar Buchner
Cornelius Lütz