Acclimation and interaction between drought and elevated UV-B in A. thaliana: Differences in response over treatment, recovery and reproduction

David Charles Comont, Anne Louise Winters, Dylan Gwynn-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Here, a factorial experiment was used to investigate the interactive effects of a UV-B episode and concurrent progressive drought on the growth, chemistry, and reproductive success of A. thaliana. Both drought and UV-B negatively affected rosette growth, although UV-B had the greater effect. Acclimation to UV-B involved adjustment of leaf morphology, while drought induced accumulation of soluble sugars and phenolics. All plants recovered from treatments, but the cost of recovery was a developmental delay resulting in alteration in phenological timings. Combined treatments interacted causing additive negative effects on growth following exposure. This may be linked with inhibition of soluble sugar accumulation by UV-B, restricting the capacity for osmotic adjustment in response to drought. Following cessation of treatments, relative growth rate (RGR) and net assimilation rate (NAR) were significantly stimulated in plants treated with combined drought and UV-B. This interaction alleviated subsequent impacts of elevated UV-B on silique yield and reproductive timings. This study demonstrates the potential for interaction between these two common environmental factors. Furthermore, it shows the changeable nature of these interactions over the course of exposure and recovery through to reproduction, highlighting the need for sustained assessment of such interactions over a plant's lifecycle.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2695-2709
Number of pages14
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume2
Issue number11
Early online date27 Sept 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012

Keywords

  • Acclimation
  • drought
  • interaction
  • phenology
  • reproduction
  • UV-B

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