Bringing to light the effects of full-spectrum sunlight on a desert moss


Natural solar radiation, including ultraviolet (UV) radiation, can be damaging to plants, including to important components of plant metabolism. In addition to protecting tissues from dangerous levels of radiation, terrestrial plants must maintain access to sufficient water. Common in drylands, the moss genus Syntrichia contains some of the most desiccation-tolerant plants known; these plants can equilibrate to dry air in a state of quiescence and resume normal metabolic activity after rehydration. In this talk, I will present studies investigating the developmental, molecular, and physiological responses to solar radiation and desiccation in two Syntrichia species in a variety of field, laboratory, and combined settings, revealing insights on the adaptive mechanisms allowing these organisms to thrive in dryland habitats.

Apr 23, 2022 4:00 PM
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Seminar
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Jenna Ekwealor
Jenna Ekwealor
Postdoctoral Researcher

I am a Biodiversity Genomics Postdoctoral Fellow studying evolutionary eco-physiology of stress tolerance in plants with the Smithsonian Institution Data Science Lab.