Genotype X–(UV) Environment Interaction-Based Trait Expression in Plants

  • Swati Sen Mandi


For survival in open field, plants have to endure the brunt of deleterious UV radiation – the predicament increasing through the post ozone hole era. To cope with such hazard of UV radiation, plants have evolved internal acclimation strategy developed under oscillatory fluctuation of UV dose (associated with diurnal/seasonal/aerosol/cloud cover variations) fluencing on earth. Low dose UV radiation through signal transduction epigenetically induces temporal upregulation of genes for synthesis of UV protective compounds, viz., flavonoids.

Such temporal changes in cell molecular processes under low-dose UV radiation are manifested as a) UV adaptive trait variation at the morphogenic level e.g hypocotyls inhibition (transiently) during germination and b) UV adapted persistent / constitutive trait variation at the genetic level thereby bypassing stress symptoms under high intensity UV radiation. During prolonged exposure to high-intensity UV radiation, temporal low-dose UV radiation retrieved as an outcome of UV radiation fluencing through intermittent weather fluctuation based temporal cloud cover leads to accumulation of flavonoids that may confer UV protection as a long term effect remaining unaffected through variations in ambient UV. Such traits are UV-adapted fixed traits and are amenable to exploitation (through biotechnological interventions) for human needs.

In addition to changes in plant growth and development, quality traits such as color and aroma often in high-altitude plants/leaf are also common observations as in grape, rice, and tea. In the present era of enhanced UV fluence due to ozone depletion, UV related trait variation is of special concern. While flexibility in trait variation corresponding to rapid change in UV environment exemplifies traits of evolutionary significance, quality traits relating to change in plant chemistry provide natural resource for valuable input in human life. The most important of such traits represents is nonenzymatic antioxidants that though largely useful for cell protection across all groups of life are specifically synthesized in plants. This beneficial effect in addition to providing quality traits in plants (where they are synthesized) also serve as a source for natural antioxidants for use of animals/humans. This would help to maximally exploit this natural phenomenon through selection and study of genotypes from various ecological regions (that differ in UV fluence) for enhancing survival value of plants. Understanding cellular acclimation aiding in resilience to adverse UV environment would be useful not only in exploiting the positive effects of UV on plant quality but also in selecting cultivation sites for production of enhanced quality plants.

Two case studies exemplifying genotype X (UV) environment interaction-based trait expression are described in this chapter: one related to seed vigor–viability trait in rice in response to UV radiation and another highlighting aroma/antioxidant trait enhancement in tea leaf (achieved by secondary metabolic pathway) showing trait variation at different locations (viz., altitude) due to elevational alteration of UV fluence.


Embryonic Axis Flavonoid Glycoside Phenylalanine Ammonia Lyase Activity High Vigor ACCase Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer (India) Pvt. Ltd. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Swati Sen Mandi
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Plant BiologyBose InstituteKolkataIndia

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