UV-B-induced DNA damage and expression of defence genes under UV-B stress: Tissue-specific molecular marker analysis in leaves

G. Kalbin, J. Hidema, M. Brosché, T. Kumagai, J. F. Bornman, Å Strid

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46 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to investigate the regulatory effect of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation on a number of key stress response genes found in the epidermis and mesophyll of Pisum sativum L., Argenteum mutant. This mutant was chosen for the ease with which the entire epidermis can be removed from the mesophyll tissue. An additional goal was to explore the potential modifying effect of pre-acclimation of plants to UV-B radiation prior to exposure by UV-B during treatment. Results showed that mRNA accumulation was similar during acute short-term UV-B exposure for chalcone synthase (Chs) and short-chain alcohol dehydrogenase (SadA) in both epidermis and mesophyll. In contrast, the mRNA levels differed considerably between tissues for phenylalanine ammonia lyase, chalcone isomerase and lipid transfer protein. After 24 h incubation in visible light after cessation of UV-B exposure, the regulation of mRNA levels also differed between Chs and SadA, the former showing no expression in the epidermis and the latter none in the mesophyll. Acclimation to low UV-B levels before acute exposures resulted in delayed induction of Chs and SadA. Measurements of UV-B-induced cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs) showed a greater formation in epidermis than in mesophyll. In addition, acclimation at low UV-B levels resulted in significantly higher basal levels of CPDs than in non-acclimated plants in both mesophyll and epidermis and also in increased damage in concomitant acute exposures. The lack of correlation between the number of CPDs and levels of transcripts for defence genes, indicates that DNA damage does not control transcription of these genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-990
Number of pages8
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Acclimation
  • Chalcone synthase
  • Epidermis
  • Mesophyll
  • Pisum sativum
  • Short-chain alcohol dehydrogenase
  • Transcription regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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