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Photosynthetica

, Volume 53, Issue 2, pp 279–287 | Cite as

Ultraviolet-B radiation or heat cause changes in photosynthesis, antioxidant enzyme activities and pollen performance in olive tree

  • G. C. Koubouris
  • N. Kavroulakis
  • I. T. Metzidakis
  • M. D. Vasilakakis
  • A. Sofo
Original Papers

Abstract

The present study attempts to determine how some physiological and reproductive functions of olive tree (Olea europaea L., cv. Koroneiki) respond to enhanced UV-B radiation or heat. Enhanced UV-B radiation was applied to (1) three-year-old potted plants in an open nursery (corresponded to ca. 16% ozone depletion), and (2) in vitro cultured pollen samples (220 μmol m−2 s−1, PAR = 400−700 nm + UV-B at 7.5, 15.0, or 22.5 kJ m−2 d−1). Potted olive plants were also subjected to high temperature (38 ± 4°C) for 28 h to mimic heat levels regularly measured in olive growing areas. A significant effect of UV-B on photosynthetic rate was observed. However, enhanced UV-B radiation did affect neither chlorophyll nor carotenoid content, supporting previous reports on hardiness of the photosynthetic apparatus in olive. Increased superoxide dismutase activity was observed in UV-B-treated olive plants (+ 225%), whereas no effect was found in the plants under heat stress. Neither UV-B and nor heat did affect H2O2 accumulation in the plant tissues. However, the same treatments resulted in enhanced lipid peroxidation (+ 18% for UV-B and + 15% for heat), which is likely linked to other reactive oxygen species. The increased guaiacol peroxidase activity observed in both treatments (+ 32% for UV-B and + 49% for heat) is related to the defense against oxidative membrane damage. The observed reduction in pollen germination (20–39%) and tube length (11–44%) could have serious implications on olive yields, especially for low fruit-setting cultivars or in years and environments with additional unfavorable conditions. UV-B and heat effects described here support the hypothesis that plant response to a given stressor is affected by the overall context and that a holistic approach is necessary to determine plant strategies for climate change adaptation.

Aditional key words

abiotic stress climate change lipid peroxidation ozone pollen germination 

Abbreviations

ANOVA

analysis of variance

Car

carotenoids

Chl

chlorophyll

Ci

intercellular CO2 concentration

DM

dry mass

FM

fresh mass

GPOX

guaiacol peroxidase

gs

stomatal conductance

MDA

malondialdehyde

PN

net photosynthetic rate

ROS

reactive oxygen species

SOD

superoxide dismutase

TBARS

thiobarbituric acid reactive substances

UV-B

ultraviolet-B radiation

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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. C. Koubouris
    • 1
    • 2
  • N. Kavroulakis
    • 1
  • I. T. Metzidakis
    • 1
  • M. D. Vasilakakis
    • 2
  • A. Sofo
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Olive Tree and Subtropical Plants, National Agricultural Research Foundation (N.AG.RE.F.)ELGO ‘DEMETER’ AgrokipioChaniaGreece
  2. 2.School of AgricultureAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  3. 3.School of Agricultural, Forestry, Food and Environmental SciencesUniversità degli Studi della BasilicataPotenzaItaly

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