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Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 475–489 | Cite as

UV-B damage and protection at the molecular level in plants

  • Åke Strid
  • Wah Soon Chow
  • Jan M. Anderson
Terrestrial photosynthesis Minireview

Abstract

Influx of solar UV-B radiation (280–320 nm) will probably increase in the future due to depletion of stratospheric ozone. In plants, there are several targets for the deleterious UV-B radiation, especially the chloroplast. This review summarizes the early effects and responses of low doses of UV-B at the molecular level. The DNA molecules of the plant cells are damaged by UV due to the formation of different photoproducts, such as pyrimidine dimers, which in turn can be combatted by specialized photoreactivating enzyme systems. In the chloroplast, the integrity of the thylakoid membrane seems to be much more sensitive than the activities of the photosynthetic components bound within. However, the decrease of mRNA transcripts for the photosynthetic complexes and other chloroplast proteins are among very early events of UV-B damage, as well as protein synthesis. Other genes, encoding defence-related enzymes, e.g., of the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway, are rapidly up-regulated after commencement of UV-B exposure. Some of the cis-acting nucleotide elements and trans-acting protein factors needed to regulate the UV-induced expression of the parsley chalcone synthase gene are known.

Key words

DNA repair flavonoids gene expression oxidative stress photosynthesis promoter 

Abbreviations

bp

base pairs

CHS

chalcone synthase

CPRF

common plant regulatory factor

GR

glutathione reductase

GSH

reduced glutathione

GSSG

oxidized glutathione

PAL

phenylalanine ammonia lyase

Rubisco

1,5-ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase

SOD

superoxide dismutase

UV-A

ultraviolet radiation between 320–400 nm

UV-B

ultraviolet radiation between 280–320 nm

UV-BBE

biologically effective dose of ultraviolet-B radiation normalized to 300 nm

UV-C

ultraviolet radiation below 280 nm

4CL

4-coumarate: CoA ligase

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Åke Strid
    • 1
  • Wah Soon Chow
    • 1
  • Jan M. Anderson
    • 1
  1. 1.CSIRO Division of Plant Industry and Cooperative Research Centre for Plant ScienceCanberraAustralia

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