, Volume 194, Issue 4, pp 498-503

Accumulation of UV-absorbing flavonoids induced by UV-B radiation inAmbidopsis thaliana L.

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Irradiation ofArabidopsis with ultraviolet (UV) light resulted in intensity- and wavelength-dependent increases in the levels of a small family of UV-absorbing flavonoids, which accumulate in the aerial parts of the plants. A gradient of sensitivity to UV-B radiation is described in the different leaves of developingArabidopsis plants whereby the earliest formed leaves become damaged by UV-B faster and more extensively than later formed leaves. This UV-sensitivity gradient tightly parallels differences in constitutive as well as UV-induced levels of flavonoid accumulation among the various leaves, suggesting a direct role of flavonoids in protection against damage by UV radiation. The level of accumulated flavonoids, both constitutive and UV-induced, in each leaf appear to be dependent on the specific developmental state of each leaf as well as the overall developmental state of the plant. The UV-mediated flavonoid response, along with the observed UV-induced damage, appear not to be systemic inArabidopsis but restricted very closely to the irradiated areas of leaves.

I am deeply indebted to Robert Fischer and Bob Buchanan for providing access to their laboratories and for their invaluable help without which this work could not have been realized. I especially wish to thank Lola Peñarrubia, Elena del Campillo, Patrick Neil and Julie Montgomery for innumerable and fruitful discussions. This work was supported by Cooperative State Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreements Nos. 90-37280-5664 and 90-372780-5808.