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Acta Agronomica Hungarica
Authors: J. Pintér, E. Kósa, G. Hadi, Z. Hegyi, T. Spitkó, Z. Tóth, Z. Szigeti, E. Páldi, and L. Marton

The level of UV-B radiation reaching the surface of the earth is increasing due to the thinning of the ozone layer in the stratosphere over recent decades. This has numerous negative effects on living organisms.Some of the Hungarian inbred maize lines examined under the climatic conditions in Chile exhibited an unusually high proportion of pollen mortality, flowering asynchrony and barrenness. The evidence suggests that this can be attributed to the approx. 30% greater UV-B radiation in Chile.The investigation of this problem within the framework of abiotic stress breeding programmes is extremely important in the light of the global rise in UV-B radiation, which may make it necessary to elaborate a selection programme to develop inbred lines with better tolerance of this type of radiation.In the course of the experiment the same ten inbred lines, having different maturity dates and genetic backgrounds, were tested for five years in Chile and Hungary. The tests focussed on anthocyanin, a flavonoid derivative involved in the absorption of damaging UV-B radiation.Averaged over years and varieties, the total anthocyanin content in the leaf samples was significantly higher in Chile than in Hungary. This was presumably a response at the metabolic level to the negative stress represented by higher UV-B radiation.In the five early-maturing flint lines the anthocyanin contents were more than 45% greater than those recorded in Hungary. This suggests that these genotypes, originating from northern regions, were not sufficiently adapted to the higher radiation level. In these samples higher UV-B caused a sharp rise in the quantity of anthocyanin, which absorbs the dangerous radiation. In late-maturing genotypes the initial content of the protective compound anthocyanin was higher at both locations, so in these types the high radiation level was not a problem and did not cause any substantial change.Similar conclusions were drawn from the results of fluorescence imaging. The F440/F690 ratio indicative of the stress level was higher in late lines with a high anthocyanin content, good tolerance and good adaptability.

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Solar UV-B radiation is generally regarded as an environmental stress factor, causing harm to living organisms by damaging DNA, proteins, lipids and membranes. Increased UV-B radiation may affect plant life directly or indirectly, having an influence on photosynthesis and plant biomass. In many plants, including maize (which is one of the most important crops in the world), exposure to increased UV-B radiation causes the induction of UV-B absorbing compounds (e.g. flavonoids), which act as UV-B screens and reduce the dangerous levels and effects of this radiation in plant tissues and cells.This study aimed to reveal how Martonvásár maize inbred lines (bred under Central European environmental conditions) respond to increased UV-B radiation.

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The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of salicylic acid (SA) pre-treatment on the salt stress acclimation of tomato plants ( Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. L. cv. Rio Fuego). The antioxidant defence and detoxifying capacity of the tissues were analysed by measuring the accumulation of soluble, non-enzymatic antioxidants (anthocyanins) and the activities of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) at low (10 −7 M) and high (10 −4 M) SA concentrations in plants exposed to 100 mM NaCl. GSTs are a diverse group of enzymes that catalyse the detoxification of xenobiotics and other toxic organic compounds, and anthocyanins are among the few endogenous substrates that bind to GSTs and are sequestered to the vacuole. It was found that 10 −4 M SA pre-treatment improved the acclimation of tomato to high salinity. SA pre-treatments increased the accumulation of anthocyanins both in the presence and absence of 100 mM NaCl. The extractable GST activity of tissues increased under salt stress in young leaves and roots of the control and in plants pre-treated with 10 −4 M SA, while the extractable GST activity in these organs was reduced by 10 −7 M SA. It is suggested that elevated GST activity is a prerequisite for successful acclimation to high salinity in tomato plants pre-treated with SA, but it may also be a symptom of tissue senescence.

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acclimation in maize plants. J. Plant Physiol. 162 :1114–1122. Gomes-Filho E. Hydrogen peroxide pre-treatment induces stress acclimation in maize plants J

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Azavedo-Neto, A. D., Prisco, J. T., Eneas-Filho, J., Medeiros, J. V. R., Gomes-Filho, E. (2005): Hydrogen peroxide pretreatment induces salt-stress acclimation in maize plants. J. Plant Physiol. , 162 , 1114

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