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Donald T. Krizek, Roman M. Mirecki, and Steven J. Britz

The influence of ambient UV radiation on growth, chlorosis, and flavonoid content was examined in four cultivars of cucumber (`Ashley', `Poinsett', `Marketmore', and `Salad Bush'). Plants were grown from seed in UV exclusion chambers consisting of UV transmitting plexiglass (10% T, 285 nm), lined with 3- or 5-mil Llumar (10% T, 399 or 404 nm) to exclude UV-A and UV-B, 5-mil polyester (10%T, 319 nm) to exclude UVB, or cellulose acetate (10% T, 291 nm) to transmit UV-A and UV-B. Plants were grown in 15 cm plastic pots containing vermiculite and were fertilized daily with nutrient solution. Despite their differential sensitivity to supplemental UV-B radiation, all four cultivars responded similarly to the exclusion treatments. After 19 to 21 days, plants grown under ambient UV-A and UV-B generally had less stem, leaf, and root biomass and less total height and total leaf area than those grown under conditions in which UV-A and UV-B or only UV-B was excluded. Flavonoid content, leaf number, and floral development were unaffected by UV. These findings demonstrate the extreme sensitivity of cucumber to current levels of solar UV radiation.

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Martin Meeks, H. Brent Pemberton, Lurline Marsh, and Garry V. McDonald

The effect of UV-B fluorescent lamp light on seedling elongation was investigated using three species: marigold (Tagetes sp.), cucumber (Cucumis sativa), and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). Seedlings were exposed to light supplied from two unshielded and unfiltered 40-watt UV-B fluorescent lamps. In two experiments, seedlings were placed a distance of 45 cm below the light for varying lengths of time, while seedlings were placed 60 cm below the light in a third experiment. For marigold, seedlings were shorter when germinated under the UV-B lamp than when germinated under natural light in a glasshouse. Two hours of exposure just after glasshouse germination (cotyledons unfolded) was effective in reducing height of cucumber seedlings, whereas 6 hours was required to significantly reduce the height of tomato seedlings. Treatments were still effective when the last measurements were taken 12 to 14 days after germination. Exposure of seedlings to UV-B lamp light provides a possible alternative means of preventing excessive seedling elongation instead of relying on chemical plant growth regulators.

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Xunzhong Zhang, E.H. Ervin, and R.E. Schmidt

Ultraviolet-B [UV-B (280-320 nm)] radiation is one of the major factors causing quality decline of transplanted sod. Pigments and antioxidants are associated with plant stress resistance, but their roles in turfgrass tolerance to UV-B damage are not well understood. The objectives of this study were to determine if kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) cultivars with darker green genetic leaf color possessed greater pigment and antioxidant defense capacities and if such characteristics were associated with greater resistance to UV-B. Two cultivars, `Moonlight' (dark green) and `Limerick' (light green), were selected and subjected to continuous, artificial UV-B radiation (70 μmol·m-2·s-1). UV-B irradiation reduced turf quality by 58% (`Moonlight') and 77% (`Limerick') relative to day 1 when measured 10 days after initiation of UV-B exposure. Higher canopy photochemical efficiency (PEc) was found in `Moonlight' relative to `Limerick' under UV-B stress and during recovery. `Moonlight' contained greater levels of chlorophyll (1.5 to1.6-fold), carotenoids (1.3-fold), superoxide dismutase [SOD (1.0-fold)] and catalase [CAT (1.5-fold)] than `Limerick' when measured at 10 days after UV-B initiation. Turfgrass quality and PEc were positively correlated with pigments (chlorophyll and carotenoids) and antioxidant enzymes (SOD and CAT), and negatively correlated with lipid peroxidation. The results suggest that selecting dark-green cultivars with greater pigment content and antioxidant activity may be an effective approach for turfgrass breeders and sod producers to improve tolerance of newly transplanted sod to environments with higher UV-B radiation.

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Donald T. Krizek, Abha Upadhyaya, and Roman M. Mirecki

UV-B (UV) induced changes in PAL activity and UV-absorbing compounds were followed in cotton after 1 to 9 days and in cucumber after 1 to 14 days. UV increased PAL activity in the lower hypocotyl (LH) of cotton but had no effect on the upper portion. In general, PAL decreased with time, but UV treatment slowed that decline in the LH portion. Anthocyanin concentration declined with time in both portions. In cucumber cotyledons, UV had no effect on PAL. In cucumber leaves, there was no overall effect of UV; but there were significant interactions with time. In both cotyledons and in leaves, PAL decreased with time. As in LH cotton tissue, UV slowed the rate of decline of PAL in cucumber leaves. In leaves, UV absorbing compounds (at 330 nm) were increased by UV; in cotyledons, the increase in absorption was greater in controls than in UV-B irradiated seedlings. In cotton, changes in anthocyanins mirrored those in PAL, this was not the case for UV absorbing compounds in either species.

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Fouad M. Basiouny

Blueberry fruits (Vaccinium ashie Read) of two cultivars, `Delite' and `Woodard', were hand-picked twice during the growing season (15 June and 1 July) to study the benefits of UV-B irradiance on postharvest fruit quality. After precooling, healthy, disease-free, uniform fruits were selected and exposed to UV-B irradiance (180 to 310 nm) for 24 h under cold conditions. The fruits were then kept at 2–3 °C and 90% to 95% relative humidity for 2 weeks before determining their quality parameters. Irradiated fruits were softer, wrinkled, and non-marketable compared to non-irradiated berries. UV-B had no beneficial effects on fruit quality or storability.

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Richard M. Klein

In order to determine whether the concentration of floral petal anthocyanin pigments could be increased, ultraviolet radiations in the UV-A and UV-B wavelength bands were presented to a variety of flowering plants to partly restore those wavelengths filtered out by greenhouse glass. In no tested plant did the supplementary ultraviolet radiation enhance floral anthocyanin content. Supplementary UV radiation has no economic value in greenhouse production of flowering plants.

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Edward J. Nangle, David S. Gardner, James D. Metzger, Dominic P. Petrella, Tom K. Danneberger, Luis Rodriguez-Saona, and John L. Cisar

exposure to wavelengths in the ultraviolet (UV-A 400–320 nm/UV-B 320–290 nm/UV-C 290–100 nm) range ( Kerr and McElroy, 1993 ). The UV-B wavelengths that contact the earth’s surface are predicted to increase in springtime radiation by 50% to 60% from 2010 to

Open access

Ittetsu Yamaga and Sakura Hamasaki

sunscreen reagent to be applied for protection against photoinflammation and photoaging because it inhibits the UV-B-induced production of prostaglandin ( Tanaka et al., 2004 ). In citrus fruits, the composition and quantities of compounds such as

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Erik H. Ervin, Xunzhong Zhang, and John H. Fike

High ultraviolet-B (UV-B; 290-320 nm wavelength) radiation may significantly contribute to the quality decline and death of kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) sod during summer transplanting. Antioxidants and protective pigments may be involved in plant defense against oxidative stress caused by UV-B. Selected exogenous hormones may alleviate UV-B damage by upregulating plant defense systems. The objectives of this study were to determine if exogenous hormone or hormone-like substances could alleviate UV-B damage to `Georgetown' kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) under greenhouse conditions. The hormone salicylic acid at 150 mg·m-2 and the hormone-containing substances, humic acid (HA) at 150 mg·m-2 and seaweed extract (SWE) at 50 mg·m-2, were applied to plugs of kentucky bluegrass and then subjected to UV-B radiation (70 μmol·m-2·s-1). The UV-B irradiation stress reduced turf quality by 51% to 66% and photochemical efficiency by 63% to 68% when measured 10 or 12 days after initiation of UV-B. Endogenous alpha-tocopherol (AT) and antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase) were reduced by UV-B stress. Anthocyanin content was increased from day 1 to 5 and then decreased from day 5 to 10 of continuous UV-B irradiation. Application of SA and HA + SWE enhanced photochemical efficiency by 86% and 82%, respectively, when measured 10 or 12 days after UV-B initiation. In addition, application of the hormonal supplements increased AT concentration, SOD, catalase activity, and anthocyanin content when compared to the control at 10 days after UV-B initiation. Bluegrass with greater AT concentration and SOD and catalase activity exhibited better visual quality under UV-B stress. The results of this study suggest that foliar application of SA and HA + SWE may alleviate decline of photochemical efficiency and turf quality associated with increased UV-B light levels during summer.

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Erik H. Ervin, Xunzhong Zhang, and John H. Fike

High ultraviolet-B (UV-B; 290-320nm wavelength) may significantly contribute to kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) sod death at harvest and transplanting. As terrestrial UV-B levels continue to increase due to a depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer this problem may worsen. Epidermal attenuation from pigments and detoxification of reactive oxygen species by antioxidant metabolites and enzymes are involved in plant defense against oxidative stress caused by UV-B. Our objective was to determine whether the attenuation and detoxification systems of kentucky bluegrass could be artificially boosted by exogenous applications of ascorbic acid (AA), alpha-tocopherol (AT), or a colorant before exposure to high levels of UV-B. Ascorbic acid, AT, and the colorant Green Lawnger (GL), were applied to plugs of mature kentucky bluegrass alone or in combination, and then subjected to artificial, continuous UV-B exposure (70 μmol·m-2·s-1); three greenhouse experiments were conducted. By 3 to 5 days after UV-B initiation, visual quality and photochemical efficiency, as measured by chlorophyll fluorescence were significantly reduced. However, in Expt. 1, AA alleviated decline of visual quality, delayed loss of photochemical efficiency, and increased recovery relative to the control. In Expt. 3, decreased endogenous AT and antioxidant enzyme activities were measured due to UV-B stress. Application of AA, AA + AT, or GL partially alleviated photochemical efficiency decline from 4 to 12 days after initiation of UV-B. In addition, application of the chemical treatments increased leaf tissue AT concentrations by 32% to 42%, increased SOD activity by 30% to 33% and increased catalase activity by 37% to 59%, relative to the control as measured 10 days after UV-B initiation. Greater AT concentration and SOD and catalase activities were associated with greater visual quality under UV-B stress. The results of these studies indicate that kentucky bluegrass UV-B tolerance may be increased by supplementing its pigment and antioxidant defense systems with foliar applications of AA, AT or GL.