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Plant Physiol. 2003 Aug;132(4):1755-67.

Convergent responses to stress. Solar ultraviolet-B radiation and Manduca sexta herbivory elicit overlapping transcriptional responses in field-grown plants of Nicotiana longiflora.

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Ifeva, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The effects of solar ultraviolet (UV)-B (280-315 nm) on plants have been studied intensively over the last 2 decades in connection with research on the biological impacts of stratospheric ozone depletion. However, the molecular mechanisms that mediate plant responses to solar (ambient) UV-B and their interactions with response mechanisms activated by other stressors remain for the most part unclear. Using a microarray enriched in wound- and insect-responsive sequences, we examined expression responses of 241 genes to ambient UV-B in field-grown plants of Nicotiana longiflora Cav. Approximately 20% of the sequences represented on the array showed differential expression in response to solar UV-B. The expression responses to UV-B had parallels with those elicited by simulated Manduca sexta herbivory. The most obvious similarities were: (a) down-regulation of several photosynthesis-related genes, and (b) up-regulation of genes involved in fatty acid metabolism and oxylipin biosynthesis such as HPL (hydroperoxide lyase), alpha-DIOX (alpha-dioxygenase), LOX (13-lipoxygenase), and AOS (allene oxide synthase). Genes encoding a WRKY transcription factor, a ferredoxin-dependent glutamate-synthase, and several other insect-responsive genes of unknown function were also similarly regulated by UV-B and insect herbivory treatments. Our results suggest that UV-B and caterpillar herbivory activate common regulatory elements and provide a platform for understanding the mechanisms of UV-B impacts on insect herbivory that have been documented in recent field studies.

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