Distinct Morphological, Physiological, and Biochemical Responses to Light Quality in Barley Leaves and Roots

Karel Klem, Albert Gargallo-Garriga, Wutthida Rattanapichai, Michal Oravec, Petr Holub, Barbora Veselá, Jordi Sardans, Josep Peñuelas, Otmar Urban

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    33 Citations (Scopus)


    © Copyright © 2019 Klem, Gargallo-Garriga, Rattanapichai, Oravec, Holub, Veselá, Sardans, Peñuelas and Urban. Light quality modulates plant growth, development, physiology, and metabolism through a series of photoreceptors perceiving light signal and related signaling pathways. Although the partial mechanisms of the responses to light quality are well understood, how plants orchestrate these impacts on the levels of above- and below-ground tissues and molecular, physiological, and morphological processes remains unclear. However, the re-allocation of plant resources can substantially adjust plant tolerance to stress conditions such as reduced water availability. In this study, we investigated in two spring barley genotypes the effect of ultraviolet-A (UV-A), blue, red, and far-red light on morphological, physiological, and metabolic responses in leaves and roots. The plants were grown in growth units where the root system develops on black filter paper, placed in growth chambers. While the growth of above-ground biomass and photosynthetic performance were enhanced mainly by the combined action of red, blue, far-red, and UV-A light, the root growth was stimulated particularly by supplementary far-red light to red light. Exposure of plants to the full light spectrum also stimulates the accumulation of numerous compounds related to stress tolerance such as proline, secondary metabolites with antioxidative functions or jasmonic acid. On the other hand, full light spectrum reduces the accumulation of abscisic acid, which is closely associated with stress responses. Addition of blue light induced accumulation of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), sorgolactone, or several secondary metabolites. Because these compounds play important roles as osmolytes, antioxidants, UV screening compounds, or growth regulators, the importance of light quality in stress tolerance is unequivocal.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1026
    JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2019


    • light quality
    • metabolomics
    • morphology
    • photosynthesis
    • root system architecture


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