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Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2009;60:407-31. doi: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.59.032607.092953.

Signal transduction in responses to UV-B radiation.

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  • 1Plant Science Group, Division of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Faculty of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, United Kingdom.


UV-B radiation is a key environmental signal that initiates diverse responses in plants that affect metabolism, development, and viability. Many effects of UV-B involve the differential regulation of gene expression. The response to UV-B depends on the nature of the UV-B treatment, the extent of adaptation and acclimation to UV-B, and interaction with other environmental factors. Responses to UV-B are mediated by both nonspecific signaling pathways, involving DNA damage, reactive oxygen species, and wound/defense signaling molecules, and UV-B-specific pathways that mediate photomorphogenic responses to low levels of UV-B. Importantly, photomorphogenic signaling stimulates the expression of genes involved in UV-protection and hence promotes plant survival in UV-B. Photomorphogenic UV-B signaling is mediated by the UV-B-specific component UV RESISTANCE LOCUS8 (UVR8). Both UVR8 and CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENESIS1 (COP1) are required for UV-B-induced expression of the ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL5 (HY5) transcription factor, which plays a central role in the regulation of genes involved in photomorphogenic UV-B responses.

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