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Research projects

Ultraviolet radiation as an environmental stimuli in biological systems: perception, signalling, molecular responses and morphogenesis

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress


Åke Strid

Research subject

Research environments

Most living organisms are subjected to the incident sunlight. The sunlight contains radiation both in the visible range and in the radiation spectrum outside the visible, such as the infrared and the ultraviolet (UV). One important part of the UV region of the spectrum is the ultraviolet-B (UV-B), i.e. the radiation from the sun for which the transmission of the atmosphere of the earth changes from near full transmission (at approx. 315 nm) to full absorption (at approx. 280 nm).

UV-B has traditionally been considered damaging to organisms and a lot of research effort has been devoted internationally to study the effects of this type of radiation. However, over the last decade information on a positive regulatory role of UV-B, especially for plants, have accumulated. It turns out that plants have particular UV-B receptors that perceives UV-B radiation and, after UV-B absorption, signals this perception to the cellular nucleus to accomplish regulation of more than 100 genes. The results of this positive regulation lead to organismal changes, such as increased leaf thickness, decreased leaf size, increased branching, increased sturdiness, and accumulation of phytochemicals. The latter effect may in food plants lead to increased crop quality and thereby to more nutritious foods stuffs.

Our contribution to this internationally active research field includes:

  1. Molecular understanding of the function of the plant UV-B receptor UVR8 and its interaction with signalling partner proteins.
  2. Identification of further plant UV-B receptors.
  3. Linking plant UV-B responses occurring under controlled environment conditions to physiological acclimation in the natural environment.
  4. Using UV exposure strategies to accomplish increased crop quality in horticulture and silviculture in connection with stakeholders.
  5. Conducting spin-off projects ("Pyridoxine involvement in tolerance towards reactive oxygen species", and "The role of short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases in development and stress tolerance").

Read about the project Pyridoxine involvement in tolerance towards reactive oxygen species.

Read about the project The role of short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases in development and stress tolerance.

Research groups

Research funding bodies

  • Carl Trygger Foundation
  • The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST)