Chin J Plant Ecol ›› 2017, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (8): 882-893.DOI: 10.17521/cjpe.2015.0403

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Effects of water condition on photochemical efficiency and physiological characteristics in artificially cultivated moss Syntrichia caninervis

Hong-Mei XU1,2, Jin LI1, Yuan-Ming ZHANG2,*()   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of Species Diversity Application and Control in Xinjiang, College of Life Sciences, Xinjiang Normal University, ürümqi 830054, China
    2Key Laboratory of Biogeography and Bioresource in Arid Land, Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences, ürümqi 830011, China
  • Online:2017-08-10 Published:2017-09-29
  • Contact: Yuan-Ming ZHANG
  • About author:KANG Jing-yao(1991-), E-mail:


Aims The desert moss Syntrichia caninervis is a dominant species in the moss biocrust of the Gurbantünggüt Desert. It plays an important role in soil stability and artificial biocrust reconstruction in desert ecosystems. Previous studies have demonstrated that although artificial cultivation techniques can promote the micropropagation of S. caninervis, the resulting moss performs poorly in maintenance ability. Water availability has been considered as a critical factor to stimulate the physiological activities in moss species. Our objective in this study was to determine the optimum water condition for growth of sand-cultivated shoots of S. caninervis in the process of transplanting cultured materials from laboratory to the field. Methods We used sand-cultivated S. caninervis grown from fragmented gametophyte leaves and stems above ground. The experiment was run for 30 days under conditions of three water treatments, including intermittent water supply (watering every three days), fully watered (watering every day), and drought (watering every six days) . Fluorescence and physiological indices of shoots, such as photochemical efficiency, pigment content, soluble sugar, free proline, soluble protein, catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase activities and malondialdehyde were measured. Important findings The content of total chlorophyll, chlorophyll a and b in drought and fully watered treatments were significantly lower than in intermittent water supply treatment. Drought reduced the chlorophyll a/b ratio, and fully watered treatment deceased carotenoid content. Drought and fully watered treatments significantly reduced the maximal and actual photochemical efficiency and the soluble protein content, while increased most indices in osmotic adjustment substances and antioxidative enzyme activities, such as soluble sugar content, free proline content, catalase, peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and malonaldehyde content. Our results showed that the sand-cultivated S. caninervis accumulated osmotic adjustment substances and strengthened the antioxidative enzyme activities to survive under different water conditions, such as in the fully watered treatment. Compared with the intermittent water supply treatment, drought may lead to more damages in sand-cultivated shoots of S. caninervis, with the membrane lipid peroxidation being aggravated. Thus, intermittent water supply results in better development of artificial-cultivated S. caninervis than drought and fully watered treatments. This conclusion could provide theoretical basis for water saving management of artificially cultivated bryophyte in wild engraftment.

Key words: water treatment, Syntrichia caninervis, sand based cultivation, photochemical efficiency, osmotic substances, antioxidative enzymes