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Response of Two Plant Species to Two Ultraviolet-B Radiation RegimesThe depleted stratospheric ozone layer has been directly linked to increased levels of ultraviolet radiation at the earth's surface. It is important to understand what effect this will have on plants. We tested the hypothesis that in response to increased UV-B radiation (280-320 man), soybean (Glycine max Merrill) and alfalfa (Mercado Saliva L.) would produce higher concentrations of flavonoids than plants screened from UV-B. Soybean and alfalfa plants were grown successively in a growth chamber that provided UV-B radiation intensities 45% above summer field levels. A wooden frame was used to suspend mylar-D film over one group of plants and mono-acetate film over another group. Mylar is opaque in the 280-316 nm range, and acetate absorbs most radiation from 280-290 nm and then reduces intensities in the 290-320 nm range by roughly 15%. Leaf chlorophyll concentration was determined with a Minolta SPAD-502 chlorophyll meter; the BRAD meter was calibrated with N,N- extractions. Flavonoids were extracted with an acidified methanol/water solution. Soybean grown under the acetate treatment showed 26% smaller internodal lengths and higher concentrations of flavonoids compared to plants grown under mylar. Significant results for alfalfa included 22% greater leaf flavonoid concentration under acetate, 14% greater leaf chlorophyll concentration under mylar, and 32% greater above-ground biomass under mylar. We found that increased UV-B radiation leads to increased production of UV-B absorbing compounds (i.e. flavonoids) in soybean and alfalfa leaves. This suggests that a protective mechanism in these plants is triggered by UV-B. In response, flavonoids are produced that absorb UV-B, and consequently decrease potentially damaging effects to the plants. In addition, we hypothesize that this flavonoid protection mechanism saturates at certain UV-B intensities.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Levy, Daniel L.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
Skiles, J. W.
(Johnson Controls World Services Moffett Field, CA United States)
Peterson, David
Date Acquired
August 20, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1996
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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