Crop Biotech Update

Effect of Excessive UV-B Light on Soybean Plants

June 11, 2014

Severe climate changes in Korea have caused an increase in average temperature and a decrease in ozone by as much as -3.8% per decade, which can lead to increased ultraviolet (UV)-B radiation. UV-B radiation plays an important role in photomorphogenesis. However, excessive UV-B radiation can also decrease photosynthesis as well as cause damage to cellular DNA.

The effect of two different light sources, UV-B and natural light, were evaluated by subjecting 18 day-old soybean plants (Glycine max Merr. var Seoritae) to each of the two light sources. Plants were then harvested and pigment contents, chlorophyll fluorescence, and proteomic changes were evaluated. Carotenoids and anthocyanin content increased significantly in plants subjected to excessive UV-B radiation. Moreover, several proteins including ATP synthase and oxygen-evolving enhancer proteins were found to be up-regulated in soybean leaves exposed to excessive UV-B.

However, excessive UV-B light also led to a dramatic reduction in photosynthetic efficiency when compared to control plants. Fluorescence imaging system determined that UV-B caused irreversible damage to Photosystem II. These findings could help future researches in which plants can harness the positive effects of UV-B while minimizing, if not eliminating the unfavorable effects of UV-B.

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