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Plant Physiol Biochem. 2019 Jan;134:73-80. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2018.10.017. Epub 2018 Oct 13.

Acclimation of Arabidopsis thaliana to low temperature protects against damage of photosystem II caused by exposure to UV-B radiation at 9 °C.

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Botanical Institute, Christian-Albrechts Universität zu Kiel, Am Botanischen Garten 1-9, D-24118, Kiel, Germany; BioConsult SH GmbH & Co KG, Schobüller Straße 36, D-25813, Husum, Germany.
Botanical Institute, Christian-Albrechts Universität zu Kiel, Am Botanischen Garten 1-9, D-24118, Kiel, Germany. Electronic address:


Various environmental variables interact with UV-B radiation (280-315 nm), among them temperature. In many plants epidermal UV screening is induced by low temperature even in the absence of UV irradiation. On the other hand, low temperature can aggravate damage caused by UV-B radiation. We investigated the interaction of UV-B radiation and low temperature in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. Exposure of plants grown at moderate temperature (21 °C) to UV-B radiation at 9 °C resulted in significantly higher damage of photosystem II (PS II) as compared to exposure at 21 °C. The higher damage at low temperature was related to slower recovery of maximal PS II quantum efficiency at this temperature. Epidermal UV-B transmittance was measured using a method based on chlorophyll fluorescence measurements. Acclimation to low temperature enhanced epidermal UV-B screening and improved the UV-B resistance considerably. Differences in the apparent UV-B sensitivity of PS II between plants grown in moderate or acclimated to cool temperatures were strongly diminished when damage was related to the UV-B radiation reaching the mesophyll (UV-Bint) as calculated from incident UV-B irradiance and epidermal UV-B transmittance. Evidence is presented that the remaining differences in sensitivity are caused by an increased rate of repair in plants acclimated to 9 °C. The data suggest that enhanced epidermal UV-B screening at low temperature functions to compensate for slower repair of UV-B damage at these temperatures. It is proposed that the UV-B irradiance reaching the mesophyll should be considered as an important parameter in experiments on UV-B resistance of plants.


Chlorophyll fluorescence; Epidermal transmittance; Low temperature acclimation; Photoinhibition; Recovery

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