Effect of UV-B radiation on morphology, phenolic compound production, gene expression, and subsequent drought stress responses in chili pepper (Capsicum annuum L.)
It has been suggested that accumulation of flavonoids could be a key step in development of plant tolerance to different environmental stresses. Moreover, it has been recognized that abiotic stresses such as drought and UV-B radiation (280–315 nm) induce phenolic compound accumulation, suggesting a role for these compounds in drought tolerance. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of UV-B exposure on chili pepper (Capsicum annuum, cv. ‘Coronel’) plant performance, phenolic compound production, and gene expression associated with response to subsequent drought stress. Additionally, the phenotypic response to drought stress of these plants was studied. UV-B induced a reduction both in stem length, stem dry weight and number of floral primordia. The largest reduction in these variables was observed when combining UV-B and drought. UV-B-treated well-watered plants displayed fructification approximately 1 week earlier than non-UV-B-treated controls. Flavonoids measured epidermally in leaves significantly increased during UV-B treatment. Specifically, UV-B radiation significantly increased chlorogenic acid and apigenin 8-C-hexoside levels in leaves and a synergistic increase of luteolin 6-C-pentoside-8-C-hexoside was obtained by UV-B and subsequent drought stress. Gene expression of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and chalcone synthase (CHS) genes also increased during UV-B treatments. On the other hand, expression of genes related to an oxidative response, such as mitochondrial Mn-superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) and peroxidase (POD) was not induced by UV-B. Drought stress in UV-B-treated plants induced mitochondrial Mn-SOD gene expression. Taken together, the UV-B treatment did not induce significant tolerance in plants towards drought stress under the conditions used.
Rodríguez-Calzada, T.; Qian, M.; Strid, Å; Neugart, S.; Schreiner, M.; Torres-Pachecoa, I.; Guevara-Gonzáleza, R.G. 2018. Effect of UV-B radiation on morphology, phenolic compound production, gene expression, and subsequent drought stress responses in chili pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). Plant Physiology and Biochemistry