Biotech Updates

A Plant which Acclimatizes with No Exterior Influence

November 27, 2013

A team led by University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland Professor Roman Ulm, has generated a transgenic plant which acclimatizes constitutively, regardless of ultraviolet B (UV-B) levels. This plant has a constantly active receptor, which endows it with higher UV resistance, associated with increased flavonoid production, substances which function as a 'sunscreen' and as antioxidants.

Plants are able to detect UV-B rays due to a receptor known as UVR8, made up of flavonoids - acting as sunscreens and antioxidants -  and enzymes which repair the damage caused to the DNA during light exposure. Through collaboration with his colleagues from the Universities of Ghent (Belgium) and Freiburg (Germany), Ulm's team generated a transgenic plant equipped with the UVR8 mutated receptor. The receptor is always switched on, resulting in a constant stimulation of the genes necessary for survival responses.

For more details about this research, the UNIGE news release is available in French at: An English translation of the news release can be read at