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Sub-lethal UV-C radiation induces callose, hydrogen peroxide and defence-related gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana
journal contributionposted on 2015-05-01, 00:00 authored by Sharl Mintoff, Jim RookesJim Rookes, David CahillDavid Cahill
Exposure of plants to UV-C irradiation induces gene expression and cellular responses that are commonly associated with wounding and pathogen defence, and in some cases can lead to increased resistance against pathogen infection. We examined, at a physiological, molecular and biochemical level, the effects of and responses to, sub-lethal UV-C exposure on Arabidopsis plants when irradiated with increasing dosages of UV-C radiation. Following UV-C exposure plants had reduced leaf areas over time, with the severity of reduction increasing with dosage. Severe morphological changes that included leaf glazing, bronzing and curling were found to occur in plants treated with the 1000 J·m(-2) dosage. Extensive damage to the mesophyll was observed, and cell death occurred in both a dosage- and time-dependent manner. Analysis of H2 O2 activity and the pathogen defence marker genes PR1 and PDF1.2 demonstrated induction of these defence-related responses at each UV-C dosage tested. Interestingly, in response to UV-C irradiation the production of callose (β-1,3-glucan) was identified at all dosages examined. Together, these results show plant responses to UV-C irradiation at much lower doses than have previously been reported, and that there is potential for the use of UV-C as an inducer of plant defence.