Wheat Responses and Tolerance to UV-B Radiation: An Overview

  • Sunita Kataria
  • Meeta Jain
  • Mansi Kanungo
  • Sonika Sharma


The elevated ultraviolet-B (UV-B, 290–315 nm) has sensitive alarm because it causes drastic effects on growth, photosynthesis, and crop yield. Globally, increased UV-B has a great challenge for production of wheat. Therefore, in this chapter, a brief attempt has been made to summarize the wheat responses and tolerance to UV-B radiation. Over the last two decades, most of the studies were on the mechanisms of UV-B tolerance along with the physiological, biochemical, and morphological responses of wheat plants to UV-B stress. The experimental results showed that ambient UV-B (aUV-B) and supplemental UV-B (sUV-B) radiations have adverse effects on growth of wheat crops such as shortening plant height, reducing leaf area, slowing physiological activity, and decreasing biomass and photosynthetic performance and yield. The perusal of literature recommended the enhanced UV-B irradiation lessens the production of crop yield via disturbing the number and weight of grains. The levels of superoxide radical (O2.-) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) were enhanced by UV-B (ambient and supplemental) along with enhanced peroxidation of lipids (LPO) and electrolyte leakage. Wheat plants possess many protective and tolerance mechanisms to reduce the effect of oxidative stress caused by UV-B stress. In response to aUV-B and sUV-B, defense mechanisms get activated in the form of the increased superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbic acid, and guaiacol peroxidase activities, and all nonenzymatic antioxidants are found to increase in wheat. Enhanced and ambient UV-B radiation had harmful effects on photosynthetic parameters like photosystem II (Hill reaction, chlorophyll, chlorophyll a fluorescence, electron transport rate (ETR), and yield), thylakoid, and enzymes of the dark reaction like carbonic anhydrase (CA), ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), malic dehydrogenase (MDH), and chlorophyllase in wheat. Inter- and intraspecific variations were observed in the susceptibility of wheat to UV-B which imply the potential efforts in breeding programs for improved tolerance to UV-B radiation. On the other hand, exclusion of solar UV-B from solar spectrum enhanced the growth, biomass, photosynthetic performance, and yield of wheat plants as compared to the ambient and enhanced UV-B.


Growth Biomass Defense Photosynthesis Rubisco Sensitivity Wheat UV-B Yield 



Abscisic acid


Ascorbic acid peroxidase


Ascorbic acid


Carbonic anhydrase






Electron transport chain


Glutathione reductase


Glutathione reduced


Indole-3-acetic acid




Malic dehydrogenase


Nitrate reductase


Photosynthetically active radiation


Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase




Photosynthetic photon flux


Response index


Reactive oxygen species


Ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase




Silicon nanoparticles


Sodium nitroprusside



Financial support by Department of Science and Technology Women Scientists-A Scheme (SR/WOS-A/LS-17/2017-G) is thankfully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sunita Kataria
    • 1
  • Meeta Jain
    • 1
  • Mansi Kanungo
    • 2
  • Sonika Sharma
    • 3
  1. 1.School of BiochemistryDevi Ahilya VishwavidyalayaIndoreIndia
  2. 2.School of Life SciencesDevi Ahilya VishwavidyalayaIndoreIndia
  3. 3.Defence Research LaboratoryTezpurIndia

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