Ultraviolet-B radiation co-opts defense signaling pathways

Trends Plant Sci. 2003 Nov;8(11):526-33. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2003.09.011.


Plants in the field exposed to ambient solar ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation (280-320 nm) often show an increased resistance to herbivorous insects compared with control plants grown under filters that exclude the UV-B component of solar radiation. This corresponds with a significant overlap in gene expression between the UV-B and the wounding/herbivory response. Furthermore, wound-responsive signaling components such as mitogen-activated protein kinases are activated by UV-B. A mechanistic explanation for these overlaps might be that UV-B co-opts cell surface receptors for defense signals such as systemin and oligosaccharide elicitors in a ligand-independent manner.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / radiation effects
  • Immunity, Innate / radiation effects
  • Insecta / growth & development
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Plant Diseases / parasitology
  • Plant Growth Regulators / biosynthesis
  • Plants / genetics
  • Plants / parasitology
  • Plants / radiation effects*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / radiation effects*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*


  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases