Moss Resurrection

Just after a rain storm is when I photograph moss. What I love is it’s fuzzy, wet state. Sounds kind of racy!

Dry, brown moss has zero allure; incandescent green moss is a captivating!

Moss dries up when the rain goes away. It shrivels up and often disappears. However, it doesn’t die and the moss is still there. When I was growing up we called this “going dormant.” What scientist have learned recently is that as it dries, moss writes itself a simple DNA code which helps it regrow when the rain returns.

Deep Look is a program by KQED San Francisco that looks in-depth at big science questions. In this ultra short Deep Look video, scientists explain that they are wondering if they can harness the genes of moss (their ability to write a DNA code that directs their resurrection) to help other plants survive for long periods of time without water.

Maybe yes, maybe no.

Mosses are different then other plants.

That means characteristics of moss may or may not be transferable to other kinds of plans, but of course it’s worth a try. Let me explain the differences.

Other plants have roots and carry water through their stems and leaves via tiny tubes. (The scientific term is vascular plants.) Moss doesn’t have this structure of roots or tubing. (Moss is non-vascular.) Moss absorbs water anywhere on the plant through any moss cell; more like a sponge. Moss and water together are a full body experience!

When there is a drought, mosses dry up. Unlike humans and other plants, they stay in a dead-like suspended state for a very long time. What’s novel is these “resurrection plants” spring back to life when water is added.

If you haven’t watched the video, check it out now.

Also, the video will tell you about a symbiotic animal that lives in moss called “rotifer” that I don’t even mention in my write up. Until now.

Wish to read original article, read here: These Resurrection Plants Spring Back to Life in Seconds

You might also be interested in the article of mine about Moss Sex: New Discoveries.