Ultraviolet-B radiation reduces the rates of cell division and elongation in the primary leaf of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv Maris Huntsman)

Hopkins, L.; Bond, M.A.; Tobin, A.K.

Plant, Cell and Environment 25(5): 617-624


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-3040.2002.00834.x
Accession: 003996782

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The primary leaf of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv Maris Huntsman) was used as a model system to examine how elevated ultraviolet-B (UV-B; lambda = 280-320 nm) radiation affected growth. A reduction in the rate and duration of growth of the primary leaf, in response to UV-B, was the result of changes in both the rate and extent of cell division and elongation. UV-B reduced the proportion of mitotically active cells (mitotic index) and increased the time taken for cell division (cell doubling time). Thus the supply of cells into the elongation zone was reduced, and this, coupled to a reduction in the rate of elongation, resulted in reduced leaf growth. This analysis of the spatial distribution of growth provided a means of calculating the age of cells within the leaves. Cells of UV-B-treated leaves were found to age more quickly than those of the controls. This analysis will enable future studies to take account of age-related changes when interpreting the response of plants to any number of environmental stresses that affect leaf development.