Open Access

How plants cope with the damaging effects of UV radiation

  • Kenneth Lee
Genome Biology20012:spotlight-20010316-03

DOI: 10.1186/gb-spotlight-20010316-03

Published: 16 March 2001

Because of their dependence on sunlight for photosynthesis, plants are also exposed to the DNA-damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In the 15 March Genes and Development, Roman Ulm of the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel and co-workers report on how plants cope with genotoxic stresses, such as UV radiation (Genes Dev 2001, 15:699-709).

Ulm et al. identified a mutation in Arabidopsis thaliana, mkp1, that results in hypersensitivity to the DNA-damaging agent MMS (methyl methanesulphonate) and to UV-C radiation. MMS at 120 parts per million was lethal to Arabidopsis mutants, whereas wild-type plants could tolerate higher concentrations of the drug; UV-C radiation (55 J/m2) arrested the growth of mutant roots but had no effect on wild-type roots. In the absence of genotoxic stresses, the mutants were indistinguishable from their wild-type counterparts, suggesting that the MKP1gene has a specific role in the stress response.

The gene that is disrupted in the mkp1 mutant is normally transcribed into a 3 kb mRNA that encodes a MAP (mitogen-activated protein) kinase phosphatase. These enzymes have been linked to stress responses in mammalian cells.

References

  1. Friedrich Miescher Institute, [http://www.fmi.ch/]
  2. Ulm R, Revenkova E, di Sansebastiano G-P, et al: Mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase is required for genotoxic stress relief in Arabidopsis. Genes Dev 2001, 15:699-709., [http://www.genesdev.org/]

Copyright

© BioMed Central Ltd 2001

Advertisement