Plant Diversity ›› 2015, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (4): 439-452.doi: 10.7677/ynzwyj201514126

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Comparative Physiological and Molecular Analyses of Intraspecific Differences of Stipa purpurea (Poaceae) Response to Drought

 LI  Xiong-1、2、3, YANG  Shi-Hai-3、4, YANG  Yun-Qiang-1、2, YIN  Xin-1、2、3, SUN  Xu-Dong-1、2, YANG  Yong-Ping-1、2   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography of East Asia, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences,
    Kunming 650201, China; 2 Germplasm Bank of Wild Species in Southwest China, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese
    Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China; 3 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    4 Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
  • Received:2014-09-12 Online:2015-07-25 Published:2014-11-27
  • Supported by:

    The National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (41271058) and the Major State Basic Research Development Program (2010CB951700)


Stipa purpurea Griseb, the dominant species of alpine steppe, is widely distributed across the large precipitation gradient on the Tibetan Plateau. It is possible that because of local adaptation, Spurpurea populations from different habitats along this precipitation gradient respond differently to drought, which may affect their responses to climate change. To explore the problem, in the present study, we investigated the physiological and molecular response of Spurpurea seedlings from two different populations (Pulan & Cuoqin) to 14d drought stress and subsequent recovery. The results showed that the relative water content, chlorophyll fluorescence, content of osmoticant proline and malondialdehyde (indicator of oxidative stress), accumulation of reactive oxygen species, antioxidant enzyme activities and the expression of droughtrelated genes all changed under drought treatment and went back to the control levels in the subsequent recovery in plants from Pulan. However, these patterns were quite different in plants from Cuoqin, in which these traits changed by inconsistent degrees and did not return to pretreatment levels after rewatering. The results demonstrated that the plants from Pulan had greater resistance to drought stress compared with those from Cuoqin, which had a larger mortality rate ultimately. Combating the differences of offspring in response to drought and the habitat distribution of parents, we considered that genetic basis has been obtained in response to precipitation difference among Spurpurea populations. The results help to understand the adaptation and evolution of Spurpurea to the special environment and the effect of climate change to this botanical system.

Key words: Stipa purpurea, Tibetan Plateau, Drought, Adaptation and evolution, Climate change

CLC Number: 

  • Q 945