Footprints of the sun: Memory of UV and light stress in plants

Ralf Müller-Xing*, Qian Xing, Justin Goodrich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Sunlight provides the necessary energy for plant growth via photosynthesis but high light and particular its integral ultraviolet (UV) part causes stress potentially leading to serious damage to DNA, proteins, and other cellular components. Plants show adaptation to environmental stresses, sometimes referred to as “plant memory.” There is growing evidence that plants memorize exposure to biotic or abiotic stresses through epigenetic mechanisms at the cellular level. UV target genes such as CHALCONE SYNTHASE (CHS) respond immediately to UV treatment and studies of the recently identified UV-B receptor UV RESISTANCE LOCUS 8 (UVR8) confirm the expedite nature of UV signaling. Considering these findings, an UV memory seems redundant. However, several lines of evidence suggest that plants may develop an epigenetic memory of UV and light stress, but in comparison to other abiotic stresses there has been relatively little investigation. Here we summarize the state of knowledge about acclimation and adaptation of plants to UV light and discuss the possibility of chromatin based epigenetic memory.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in plant science
Issue numberSEP
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sept 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Abiotic plant stress
  • Arabidopsis
  • Epigenetic memory
  • Stress signaling
  • UV-B


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