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Author: Jason J Wargent (17)


Mar
2018

Ultraviolet-B light (UV-B) is one environmental signal perceived by plants that affects the flavonoid pathway and influences the levels of anthocyanins, flavonols, and proanthocyanidins. To understand the mechanisms underlying UV exposure, apple trees were grown under spectral filters that altered transmission of solar UV light. Fruit analysis showed that UV induced changes in physiology, metabolism, and gene expression levels during development over a season.

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Dec
2015

Beneficial associations between plants and microbes play an important role in both natural and agricultural ecosystems. For example, associations between fungi of the genus Epichloë, and cool-season grasses are known for their ability to increase resistance to insect pests, fungal pathogens and drought. However, little is known about the molecular changes induced by endophyte infection.

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Jan
2015

Crops grown under plastic-clad structures or in greenhouses may be prone to an increased frequency of pesticide residue detections and higher concentrations of pesticides relative to equivalent crops grown in the open field. To test this we examined pesticide data for crops selected from the quarterly reports (2004-2009) of the UK's Pesticide Residue Committee. Five comparison crop pairs were identified whereby one crop of each pair was assumed to have been grown primarily under some form of physical protection ('protected') and the other grown primarily in open field conditions ('open').

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Aug
2015

The accumulation of UV-absorbing compounds (flavonoids and other phenylpropanoid derivatives) and resultant decrease in the UV transmittance of the epidermis in leaves (TUV), is a primary protective mechanism against the potentially deleterious effects of UV radiation and is a critical component of the overall acclimation response of plants to changing UV environments. Traditional measurements of TUV were laborious, time-consuming and destructive or invasive, thus limiting their ability to efficiently make multiple measurements of the optical properties of plants in the field. The development of rapid, nondestructive optical methods of determining TUV has permitted the examination of UV optical properties of leaves with increased replication, on a finer time scale, and enabled repeated sampling of the same leaf over time.

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Jun
2014

The extent of endoreduplication in leaf growth is group- or even species-specific, and its adaptive role is still unclear. A survey of Arabidopsis accessions for variation at the level of endopolyploidy, cell number, and cell size in leaves revealed extensive genetic variation in endopolyploidy level. High endopolyploidy is associated with increased leaf size, both in natural and in genetically unstructured (mapping) populations.

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Jul
2013

Yield losses as a result of abiotic stress factors present a significant challenge for the future of global food production. While breeding technologies provide potential to combat negative stress-mediated outcomes over time, interventions which act to prime plant tolerance to stress, via the use of phytohormone-based elicitors for example, could act as a valuable tool for crop protection. However, the translation of fundamental biology into functioning solution is often constrained by knowledge-gaps.

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Mar
2013

Largely because of concerns regarding global climate change, there is a burgeoning interest in the application of fundamental scientific knowledge in order to better exploit environmental cues in the achievement of desirable endpoints in crop production. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is an energetic driver of a diverse range of plant responses and, despite historical concerns regarding the damaging consequences of UV-B radiation for global plant productivity as related to stratospheric ozone depletion, current developments representative of a range of organizational scales suggest that key plant responses to UV-B radiation may be exploitable in the context of a sustainable contribution towards the strengthening of global crop production, including alterations in secondary metabolism, enhanced photoprotection, up-regulation of the antioxidative response and modified resistance to pest and disease attack. Here, we discuss the prospect of this paradigm shift in photobiology, and consider the linkages between fundamental plant biology and crop-level outcomes that can be applied to the plant UV-B response, in addition to the consequences for related biota and many other facets of agro-ecosystem processes.

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Feb
2013

Photomorphogenic responses triggered by low fluence rates of ultraviolet B radiation (UV-B; 280-315 nm) are mediated by the UV-B photoreceptor UV RESISTANCE LOCUS8 (UVR8). Beyond our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of UV-B perception by UVR8, there is still limited information on how the UVR8 pathway functions under natural sunlight. Here, wild-type Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and the uvr8-2 mutant were used in an experiment outdoors where UV-A (315-400 nm) and UV-B irradiances were attenuated using plastic films.

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Dec
2012

The UV-B photoreceptor UVR8 regulates expression of genes in response to UV-B, some encoding chloroplast proteins, but the importance of UVR8 in maintaining photosynthetic competence is unknown. The maximum quantum yield of PSII (F (v)/F(m)) and the operating efficiency of PSII (Φ(PSII)) were measured in wild-type and uvr8 mutant Arabidopsis thaliana. The importance of specific UVR8-regulated genes in maintaining photosynthetic competence was examined using mutants.

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Aug
2012

Solar ultraviolet (UV)-B radiation (280-315 nm) has a wide range of effects on terrestrial ecosystems, yet our understanding of how UV-B influences the complex interactions of plants with pest, pathogen and related microorganisms remains limited. Here, we report the results of a series of experiments in Lactuca sativa which aimed to characterize not only key plant responses to UV radiation in a field environment but also consequential effects for plant interactions with a sap-feeding insect, two model plant pathogens and phylloplane microorganism populations. Three spectrally modifying filters with contrasting UV transmissions were used to filter ambient sunlight, and when compared with our UV-inclusive filter, L.

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Aug
2011

Plant responses to solar UV radiation are numerous and have often been considered from a perspective of negative outcomes for plant productivity. In this study, we used two experimental approaches consisting of: (1) field-based spectrally modifying filters in addition to (2) controlled indoor exposure to UV-B, to examine the effects of UV radiation on growth and photosynthetic performance of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) seedlings.

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Dec
1969

Responses specific to ultraviolet B (UV-B) wavelengths are still poorly understood, both in terms of initial signalling and effects on morphogenesis. Arabidopsis thaliana UV RESISTANCE LOCUS8 (UVR8) is the only known UV-B specific signalling component, but the role of UVR8 in leaf morphogenesis is unknown. The regulatory effects of UVR8 on leaf morphogenesis at a range of supplementary UV-B doses were characterized, revealing both UVR8-dependent and independent responses to UV irradiation.

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Jun
2009

Plastic cladding is increasingly used in agriculture to create micro-environments to improve crop yield/growth. Many of these plastics can alter the solar light spectrum by inhibiting or reducing the transmittance of certain parts of the solar spectrum. In this study, we investigated the aqueous photolysis of fenitrothion, under a selection of different plastic films commonly used in agriculture.

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Mar
2009

Aqueous solutions of fenitrothion and methyl parathion were photochemically degraded in an Atlas Suntest solar simulator (500 W m(-2)) as well as under ambient sunlight at Lancaster University (June & August 2007, 54 degrees N) and the degradation kinetics and disappearance quantum yields are reported. Fenitrothion degradation confirmed to first order kinetics (r(2) = 0.90-0.

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Mar
2009

Reductions in leaf growth are a commonly observed response to ultraviolet radiation, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly defined. This study examined the response of leaves exposed to a UV environment across a range of organizational scales, including leaf expansion rate, epidermal cell size and number, biomechanical properties, leaf-water relations and activity of cell-wall peroxidases. Two experimental approaches were used; Lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.

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Dec
2007

In this paper we demonstrate a UV-B-mediated link between host plants, herbivores and their parasitoids, using a model system consisting of a host plant Brassica oleracea, a herbivore Plutella xylostella and its parasitoid Cotesia plutellae. Ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) is a potent elicitor of a variety of changes in the chemistry, morphology and physiology of plants and animals. Recent studies have demonstrated that common signals, such as jasmonic acid (JA), play important roles in the mechanisms by which plants respond to UV-B and to damage by herbivores.

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Dec
2007

Plant responses to light spectral quality can be exploited to deliver a range of agronomically desirable end points in protected crops. This can be achieved using plastics with specific spectral properties as crop covers. We have studied the responses of a range of crops to plastics that have either (a) increased transmission of UV compared with standard horticultural covers, (b) decreased transmission of UV or (c) increased the ratio of red (R) : far-red (FR) radiation.

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