The responses and recovery after gamma irradiation are highly dependent on leaf age at the time of exposure in rice (Oryza sativa L.)

Jackline Mwihaki Kariuki, Nele Horemans, Eline Saenen, May Van Hees, Michiel Verhoeven, Robin Nauts, Axel Van Gompel, Jean Wannijn, Ann Cuypers

Research outputpeer-review


Most plant studies on the effects of ionizing radiation at the individual level mainly focus on the immediate responses and not on the responses elicited following recovery. Therefore, we investigated the effects of gamma radiation in rice seedlings exposed to four different gamma dose rates for 2 weeks, after which half of the plants were harvested immediately and the other half were allowed to recover for another 2 weeks. For plants that were harvested immediately, leaf 4 was sampled because it emerged during irradiation, whereas in recovery plants, leaf 4 was sampled as a follow-up as well as leaf 7, which emerged during the recovery period. Plant growth, the antioxidative potential, lignin content and the expression profiles of the rice gene Systemic Acquired Deficient 1 (OsSARD1) and of genes related to DNA repair/replication were analyzed. Overall, the responses elicited in leaf 4 of irradiated and recovery plants indicated that this leaf recovered from exposure via the establishment of a new homeostasis. Conversely, radiation-induced responses appeared in leaf 7 of recovery plants even though it was not directly exposed. Therefore, we hypothesize that a signaling mechanism comes into play to establish this radiation-induced signature, otherwise referred to as systemic acquired acclimation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-167
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental and Experimental Botany
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2019

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