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These ‘Resurrection Plants’ Spring Back to Life in Seconds | Deep Look


Some living things, when faced with a drought, do more than just survive. When water disappears, they can cheat death itself through a kind of resurrection. Look closely at this tree, baked by the California sun. It’s covered in moss. And living in that
moss is a microscopic animal called a rotifer. When there’s no rain, the moss and the rotifers
dry out. The rotifers stop eating. The mosses stop photosynthesizing. They’re reduced
to a pile of chemicals. They can stay that way for years, even 100 years. When the rain comes, the mosses spring back
to life in seconds, using a rare ability. Right before they dried out they wrote themselves
a set of genetic instructions, so that if they ever got water again they could start producing proteins – and growing – right away. Scientists call them “resurrection plants”
and they hope to use their genes to engineer crops that could repair themselves after a
dry spell. So why do mosses work this way? Well, here’s the inside of a blade of grass.
See those tiny tubes around the perimeter? Those are for moving water up from its roots. But mosses don’t have roots. Their porous
cells absorb water like a sponge, whenever it’s available. For mosses and rotifers, it’s feast or famine. When it rains, the water activates the rotifers’
metabolism and they need to fuel up. They use the crown of cilia on their head
to create a current to suck in all the algae and bacteria they can. They grind this food
up with their jaws. See the jaws? They look like a tiny beating heart. Rotifers, mosses – they’re experts at
living without water. And maybe in this miniature “resurrection
kingdom” researchers will find clues for how the crops we humans depend on might survive
a dry Californian future.

Reader Comments

  1. this channel is amazing…….. the information is presented in a simple manner so you can easily remember it. The quality of shots makes you love nature…

  2. Only if we can put the genes in our body so we can die if we do bam we put water on the dead dud and bam they back alive XD

  3. What's the moss's name? At first glance, I though you guys are talking about Selaginella,but Selaginella isnt a moss.

  4. I clicked this because i saw this "resurrection plants" I GUESS IM WATCHING A LOT OF K DRAMAS 😂 "KINGDOM"

  5. If I were to go to school for something in this category what would it be called ? Like about animals (biology?)

  6. Would be interested in seeing an episode on Selaginella lepidophylla (the rose of jericho or resurrection plant)

  7. I'm addicted to your videos for 2 days. I can't stop me from doing this even though I realize it's my exam season!!

  8. سبحان الله الخلّاق العظيم.
    أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وأشهد أنه سيبعث من في القبور.

  9. So that's why the dry sphagnum moss I bought suprisingly become green when I using them as humidity saver for my bonsai.

  10. Scientists want to use this plants DNA to make crops repair themselves very bad idea it's man made for a start need I say more no I don't think so.

  11. Death:Aren’t you supposed to be dead?

    Rotifer:But…Why?

    Death:Huh…! I actually don’t know!,carry on!

  12. Maybe the Netflix Original series "Kingdom" gets the name of it's "Resurrection Plant" On this plants.

  13. Maybe the Netflix Original series "Kingdom" gets the name of it's "Resurrection Plant" On this plants.

  14. 30 years ago California opted not to build aqueducts and reservoirs. Even today the government of California refuses to invest in water retention systems. If there is a drought in California it is because their government is corrupt and wishes to push the illusion of Climate Change through deception.

  15. "Wrote themselves a genetic code." Yea, it dosen't work like that. DNA is a super complex language that A)cannot write itself. And B)could never be written or even decoded by human beings much less a simple parasitic moss.

  16. I must have spoiled the moss on my stone fence wall by providing them Water everyday while watering plants.
    Apparently I'm changing their genes, their behaviour. Lol

  17. Given their incredible ability to withstand those extremes, might they serve a purpose in climate manipulation on other planetary systems. Can they be used to kick start all be it slowly the greening of a less hospitable planet

  18. Still loving every single video you guys put out!

    The narration, amazing visuals, actual sounds of the tiny (and even microscopic) worlds are really awesome.

  19. Maybe effort should be focused on ensuring that California does NOT dry out from our abuse of natural resources instead of trying to genetically manipulate our food into submission shaking my head at all the "experts"

  20. Is it just me or are Rotifers and Tardigrades cute also they seem like they want belly rubs no just me only?

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