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Open AccessArticle

Comparative Analyses of the Self-Sealing Mechanisms in Leaves of Delosperma cooperi and Delosperma ecklonis (Aizoaceae)

by Linnea Hesse 1,*,†, Tim Kampowski 1,2,†, Jochen Leupold 3, Sandra Caliaro 1,4, Thomas Speck 1,2,4 and Olga Speck 1,2,4
1
Plant Biomechanics Group, Botanical Garden, Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
2
Freiburg Materials Research Center (FMF), University of Freiburg, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
3
Department of Radiology, Medical Physics, Medical Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, 79106 Freiburg, Germany
4
Cluster of Excellence livMatS @ FIT Freiburg Center for Interactive Materials and Bioinspired Technologies, University of Freiburg, 79110 Freiburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Both authors contributed equally and should be considered as first authors.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(16), 5768; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21165768
Received: 22 June 2020 / Revised: 4 August 2020 / Accepted: 7 August 2020 / Published: 11 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Biomechanics)
Within the Aizoaceae, the genus Delosperma exhibits a vast diversification colonizing various ecological niches in South-Africa and showing evolutionary adaptations to dry habitats that might include rapid self-sealing. Leaves of Delosperma react to external damage by the bending or contraction of the entire leaf until wound edges are brought into contact. A study of leaf morphology and anatomy, biomechanics of entire leaves and individual tissues and self-sealing kinematics after a ring incision under low and high relative humidity (RH) was carried out comparing the closely related species Delosperma cooperi and Delosperma ecklonis, which are indigenous to semi-arid highlands and regions with an oceanic climate, respectively. For both species, the absolute contractions of the examined leaf segments (“apex”, “incision”, “base”) were more pronounced at low RH levels. Independent of the given RH level, the absolute contractions within the incision region of D. cooperi were significantly higher than in all other segments of this species and of D. ecklonis. The more pronounced contraction of D. cooperi leaves was linked mainly to the elastic properties of the central vascular strand, which is approximately twice as flexible as that of D. ecklonis leaves. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological niche; damage management; leaf kinematics; morphology; biomechanics; self-repair; succulence; trichomes ecological niche; damage management; leaf kinematics; morphology; biomechanics; self-repair; succulence; trichomes
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Figure 1

  • Supplementary File 1:

    ZIP-Document (ZIP, 47858 KB)

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3885166
    Description: Supplementary Video 1: Self-sealing at 40% relative humidity
  • Externally hosted supplementary file 2
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3885174
    Description: Supplementary Video 2: Self-sealing at 60% relative humidity
  • Externally hosted supplementary file 3
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3885176
    Description: Data availability file
MDPI and ACS Style

Hesse, L.; Kampowski, T.; Leupold, J.; Caliaro, S.; Speck, T.; Speck, O. Comparative Analyses of the Self-Sealing Mechanisms in Leaves of Delosperma cooperi and Delosperma ecklonis (Aizoaceae). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 5768.

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