Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Karen L. Koster

Second Advisor

Dr. Bernard W. M. Wone

Third Advisor

Ms. Kumudu N. Rathnayake


Physcomitrella patens


The goal of this research was to test the dehydration tolerance of two ecotypes of the moss species Physcomitrella patens. I compared the newly isolated Reute ecotype, originating from Baden-Württemberg, Germany, to the laboratory standard Gransden ecotype, originally isolated from Little Gransden, England, to determine if they differ in their ability to survive water loss. My hypothesis was that the Gransden ecotype would display greater dehydration tolerance than the Reute ecotype due to the higher average rainfall in the region where the Reute ecotype was isolated. Dehydration tolerance was tested by exposing the moss to varying atmospheric relative humidities and measuring water loss, then measuring chlorophyll fluorescence as an estimate of photosynthetic recovery after rehydration. After comparison of dehydration rates and chlorophyll fluorescence, no significant differences were measured between the ecotypes; thus, it is inconclusive if one ecotype is more dehydration tolerant than the other.



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