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The UV-B photoreceptor UVR8 promotes photosynthetic efficiency in Arabidopsis thaliana exposed to elevated levels of UV-B

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Matthew Davey
  • Novata Susanti
  • Jason Wargent
  • Jane Findlay
  • Paul Quick
  • Nigel Paul
  • Gareth Jenkins
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Photosynthesis Research
Issue number2
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)121-131
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The UV-B photoreceptor UVR8 regulates expression of genes in response to UV-B, some encoding chloroplast proteins, but the importance of UVR8 in maintaining photosynthetic competence is unknown. The maximum quantum yield of PSII (Fv/Fm) and the operating efficiency of PSII (ΦPSII) were measured in wild-type and uvr8 mutant Arabidopsis thaliana. The importance of specific UVR8-regulated genes in maintaining photosynthetic competence was examined using mutants. Both Fv/Fm and ΦPSII decreased when plants were exposed to elevated UV-B, in general more so in uvr8 mutant plants than wild-type. UV-B increased the level of psbD-BLRP (blue light responsive promoter) transcripts, encoding the PSII D2 protein. This increase was mediated by the UVR8-regulated chloroplast RNA polymerase sigma factor SIG5, but SIG5 was not required to maintain photosynthetic efficiency at elevated UV-B. Levels of the D1 protein of PSII decreased markedly when plants were exposed to elevated UV-B, but there was no significant difference between wild-type and uvr8 under conditions where the mutant showed increased photoinhibition. The results show that UVR8 promotes photosynthetic efficiency at elevated levels of UV-B. Loss of the DI polypeptide is probably important in causing photoinhibition, but does not entirely explain the reduced photosynthetic efficiency of the uvr8 mutant compared to wild-type.