192 EXPOSURE TO ULTRAVIOLET-B RADIATION INCREASES COLD HARDINESS IN RHODODENDRON

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  • 1 Department of Biology, SUNY College at Buffalo: 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14222-1095

The change in the cold hardiness of Rhododendron (cv. `English Roseum' following chronic exposure to ultraviolet-B radiation (280-320 nm) was studied. Leaf disks removed from ultraviolet-B exposed plants exhibited a greater tolerance to freezing temperatures than plants which received no ultraviolet-B exposure. Visual browning and percent phenolic leakage indicated that UVB-exposed leaf disks were killed at -11 °C, while control disks were killed at -8°C. The increase in phenolics seen in UV-B exposed plants most likely contributed to their increased resistance to cold temperature through the synthesis of cell-wall associated components such as lignin and suberin.

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