The effects of solar ultraviolet-b on the proteome and antioxidant defense systems in soybean leaves

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Stratospheric ozone depletion has caused an increase in the amount of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation reaching the earth's surface. Some investigations have demonstrated that UV-B has effects on protein accumulation and active oxygen species (AOS) metabolism in plants. Because of the unrealistically high UV-B level and low levels of ultraviolet-A (UV-A) and photosythetically active radiation (PAR) in indoor studies it has been questioned whether results from these studies can be extrapolated to field responses. In the present study two isolines of the soybean cultivar Clark with different flavonoid contents were grown in the field with or without natural levels of UV-B. The leaf proteome and AOS metabolism were examined.

Ambient solar UV-B radiation changed AOS metabolism by decreasing superoxide dismutase activity and increasing the activities of ascorbate peroxidase, catalase and glutathione reductase relative to UV-B exclusion treatments. This resulted in decreased ascorbic acid and increased dehydroascorbate content. Proteomic analysis showed that the accumulations of 67 protein spots were significantly affected by solar UV-B. Proteins related to photosystems in photosynthesis were increased in abundance while enzymes involved in the primary carbon and nitrogen metabolism were decreased. This could lead to overreduction of the photosynthetic electron transport chain and enhance the formation of superoxide radicals and singlet oxygen. The magenta line, which has reduced flavonoid levels, had greater proteomic and oxidative responses than the standard line, suggesting that flavonoids act as screening compounds and antioxidants in protecting plants from UV-B radiation. These line-specific differences occurred even under UV-B exclusion, which may be due to high UV-A, PAR or temperature. More detailed studies are needed to elucidate the effects of other environmental factors on the soybean leaf proteome and AOS metabolism under field conditions.