Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)




College of Science

First Advisor

Doug Van Hoewyk


Drought can quickly alter physiological processes in plants not adapted to such conditions. Epiphytic plants, however, have been noted to have some tolerance to drought, which is evident in their water-holding tanks. Several physiological components were measured to determine if Vriesea gigantea, an epiphytic bromeliad, has drought tolerance. Water content, maximum quantum yield, protein concentration, and protein content were measured and compared between three control plants and three experimental plants, which were subjected to two weeks of no water. Water content showed a significant difference, indicating that the plants were being stressed compared to the control plants. The average maximum quantum yield was nearly identical (0.8), demonstrating the same likelihood of an electron being passed to photosynthesis and therefore photosynthetic processes are continuing at the same rate. Protein content resulted with a higher amount in the drought samples, as was also noticed in the darker bands of both Coomassie stained and Western blot gels compared to the control. The data obtained renders this species to be sufficiently drought tolerant at a two week, drought period.

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