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TitleUVB Radiation Induced Increase in Quercetin : Kaempferol Ratio in Wild-Type and Transgenic Lines of Petunia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsRyan, K.G., Markham K.R., Bloor S.J., Bradley J.M., Mitchell K.A., and Jordan B.R.
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Pagination323 - 330
Date Published1998
ISSN00318655 (ISSN)
AbstractThe use of genetically modified plants offers unique opportunities to study the role of specific flavonoids in plant UVB protection. Along with a parental wild-type Mitchell Petunia, two transgenic lines with altered flavonoids were also examined; Lc with enhanced levels of anthocyanins due to the action of a maize flavonoid regulatory gene Leaf color, and AFLS that carries an antisense flavonol synthase construct and is known to have reduced flavonol levels in flowers. All three lines were grown in near ambient sunlight, sunlight lacking UVB (280-320 nm) radiation and sunlight with 25% added UVB. Ultraviolet-B radiation induced significant reductions in the rates of leaf expansion and seedling growth in all three lines. The presence of anthocyanins did not appear to afford Lc plants any special protection from UVB. Ultraviolet-B treatment induced increases in total flavonol content in young plants of all three lines, and this effect decreased with increasing leaf age. Notably, increasing UVB levels led to an increase in the ratio of quercetin : kaempferol with all three cultivars. The AFLS transgenic, contrary to expectations based on its genetic construction, had normal levels of flavonols in the leaves and the highest Q:K ratio of the three cultivars. This transgenic was the least susceptible to UVB, which may indicate an enhanced protective role for quercetin. Because both quercetin and kaempferol have similar UVB screening properties, quercetin may exert this role by other means.

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