Photosynthesis, Growth, and Ultraviolet Irradiance Absorbance of Cucurbita pepo L. Leaves Exposed to Ultraviolet-B Radiation (280-315 nm)

Plant Physiol. 1981 Jan;67(1):120-4. doi: 10.1104/pp.67.1.120.


Net photosynthesis, growth, and ultraviolet (UV) radiation absorbance were determined for the first leaf of Cucurbita pepo L. exposed to two levels of UV-B irradiation and a UV-B radiation-free control treatment. Absorbance by extracted flavonoid pigments and other UV-B radiation-absorbing compounds from the first leaves increased with time and level of UV-B radiation impinging on leaf surfaces. Although absorbance of UV-B radiation by extracted pigments increased substantially, UV-B radiation attenuation apparently was insufficient to protect completely the photosynthetic apparatus or leaf growth processes. Leaf expansion was repressed by daily exposure to 1365 Joules per meter per day of biologically effective UV-B radiation but not by exposure to 660 Joules per meter per day. Photosynthesis measured through ontogenesis of the first leaf was depressed by both UV-B radiation treatments. Repression of photosynthesis by UV-B radiation was especially evident during the ontogenetic period of maximum photosynthetic activity.