J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2007, Vol. 49 ›› Issue (5): -.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2007.00466.x

Special Issue: Abiotic Stresses Plant Signal Transduction

• Stress & Phytochemistry •    

Variations in Growth, Photosynthesis and Defense System Among Four Weed Species Under Increased UV-B Radiation

Shiwen Wang, Liusheng Duan, Anthony Egrinya Eneji and Zhaohu Li   

Abstract: Weed tolerance of UV-B radiation varies with species, and the radiation could affect weed ecology and management. Variations in growth, photosynthesis and defense system among four important agronomic weeds, Abutilon theophrasti Medik, Amaranthus retroflexus L., Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop and Chloris virgata Swartz, under increased UV-B radiation (ambient and increased radiation at 2.7, 5.4 and 10.8 kJ.m?.d?) were studied in the greenhouse experiment. After 2 weeks of radiation, the shoots?dry mass decreased with increasing UV-B radiation except for D. sanguinalis. The reduction in biomass was the result of changes in morphology and physiology. Higher levels of UV-B treatment decreased the leaf area, plant height, net photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll contents, while it increased the contents of wax and UV-B absorbing compound in all species, except for A. retroflexus, which did not increase significantly. The activity of superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxide and the content of ascorbic acid changed differently among the weed species as UV-B radiation increased. D. sanguinalis was the most tolerant and A. retroflexus the most sensitive to increased UV-B radiation. The results also show that the two grass species (D. sanguinalis and C. virgata) were more tolerant to UV-B radiation than the two broad-leafed species (A. theophrasti and A. retroflexus). The UV-B absorbing compound and leaf wax played important roles against UV-B damages in the two grass weeds. The overall results suggest that weed community, competition and management will be altered by continuous ozone depletion.

Key words: crabgrass, fingergrass, leaf wax, redroot, UV-B absorbing compounds, UV-B radiation, velvetleaf.

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