The effect of UV-B irradiation on the photosystem II (PSII) activity, the content of photosynthetic and UV-absorbing pigments (UAPs), activity of antioxidant enzymes such as catalase (CAT) and peroxidase (POD), as well as H2O2 content in 25-day-old wild type (WT) and the cryptochrome 1 (Cry1) mutant hy4 of Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0 plants was studied. In addition, expression of photoreceptor genes Cry1, Cry2 and UVR8, photomorphogenetic gene COP1 and transcription factors genes HY5, HYH, the gene of chlorophyll-binding protein of the PSII CAB1 as well as the flavonoid biosynthesis genes CHS, PAL and thylakoid ascorbate peroxidase gene tAPX was examined. It has been shown that UV-B leads to a decrease in the photochemical activity of PSII (FV/FM) and the PSII performance index (PIABS) of WT plants grown on white (WL) and red (RL) light and also hy4 mutants grown on WL, RL and blue light (BL). In plants grown on BL and WL, the decrease in the PSII photochemical activity was significantly greater in hy4 compared to WT. The PSII of WT plants grown in BL was resistant to UV-B. The UAPs content of hy4 grown on BL and WL was lower than that in WT. The POD and CAT activities of WT grown in BL were significantly higher than in the mutant. In WT and hy4 plants grown in RL, a noticeable difference in these enzymes activity was not found. In both types of plants grown in BL and RL, the expression of photomorphogenetic genes HYH, HY5 markedly increased after UV-B treatment but the expression of the UV-B photoreceptor gene UVR8 was reduced in hy4 grown in BL and RL. It is assumed that reduced resistance of PSII in hy4 plants grown in BL and WL can be associated with low UAPs content as well as lowered POD and CAT activities. In addition, we suggest the lowered expression of UVR8 and COP1 genes caused by Cry1 deficiency leads to a shift of balance of oxidants and antioxidants towards oxidants.
Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; Cryptochromes; Photoreceptor UVR8; Photosystem II; Resistance to UV-B; hy4 mutant.
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