Altered somatic mutation level and DNA repair gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana exposed to ultraviolet C, salt, and cadmium stresses

  • K. V. KiselevEmail author
  • Z. V. Ogneva
  • A. S. Dubrovina
  • A. R. Suprun
  • A. P. Tyunin
Original Article


It is known that somatic mutations arising during animal growth and ageing contribute to the development of neurodegenerative and other animal diseases. For plants, several studies showed that small-scale somatic DNA mutations accumulated during Arabidopsis life cycle. However, there is a lack of data on the influence of environmental stresses on somatic DNA mutagenesis in plants. In this study, we analyzed the effects of ultraviolet C (UV-C) irradiation, high soil salinity, and cadmium (CdI3) stresses on the level of small-scale somatic DNA mutations in Arabidopsis thaliana. The number of DNA mutations was examined in the Actin2 3′UTR (Actin-U1), ITS1-5.8rRNA-ITS2 (ITS), and ribulose-1,5-biphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rbcL) DNA regions. We found that somatic mutation levels considerably increased in CdI3-treated Arabidopsis plants, while the mutation levels declined in the UV-C- and NaCl-treated A. thaliana. Cadmium is a mutagen that is known to inhibit DNA repair processes. The detected stress-induced alterations in somatic DNA mutation levels were accompanied by markedly increased expression of base excision repair genes (AtARP, AtDME, AtDML2, AtDML3, AtMBD4, AtROS, AtUNG, and AtZDP), nucleotide excision repair genes (AtDDB1a, AtRad4, and AtRad23a), mismatch repair genes (AtMSH2, AtMSH3, and AtMSH7), and photoreactivation genes (AtUVR2, AtUVR3). Thus, the results demonstrated that UV-C, high soil salinity, and cadmium stresses influence both the level of DNA mutations and expression of DNA repair genes. Salt- and UV-induced activation of DNA repair genes could contribute to the stress-induced decrease in somatic mutation level.


Somatic mutations Arabidopsis thaliana Cadmium UV-C Salt stress Indels Single-nucleotide substitutions 



This work was supported by a Grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (16-04-00839a).

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 4904 kb)


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Copyright information

© Franciszek Górski Institute of Plant Physiology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. V. Kiselev
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Z. V. Ogneva
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. S. Dubrovina
    • 1
  • A. R. Suprun
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. P. Tyunin
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Biotechnology, Federal Scientific Center of the East Asia Terrestrial BiodiversityFar Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of SciencesVladivostokRussia
  2. 2.Department of Biochemistry, Biotechnology, and MicrobiologyFar Eastern Federal UniversityVladivostokRussia

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