Manganese toxicity and UV-B radiation differentially influence the physiology and biochemistry of highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) cultivars

Yesenia Rojas L., Miren Alberdi, Patricio Acevedo A., Claudio Inostroza-B., Zed Rengel, María de la Luz Mora and Marjorie Reyes-Díaz


Manganese (Mn2+) toxicity or UV-B radiation and their individual effects on plants have been documented previously. However, no study about the combined effect of these stresses is available. We evaluated the individual and combined effects of excess Mn2+ and UV-B radiation on physiological and biochemical parameters in two highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum L.) cultivars differing in resistance to Mn toxicity (Brigitta (resistant) and Bluegold (sensitive)). Plants grown in Hoagland nutrient solution were subjected to the following treatments: 2 µM MnCl2 (control), 500 µM MnCl2 (toxic Mn2+), UV-B radiation (a daily dose of 94.4 kJ m–2), and the combined treatment (toxic Mn2+ + UV-B) for 30 days. In both cultivars, the Mn2+ + UV-B treatment caused a more negative effect on net photosynthesis (Pn), stomatal conductance (gs), the photochemical parameters of PSII and the chl a/b ratio than the treatments with toxic Mn2+ or UV-B alone. However, Brigitta showed also a better acclimation response in Pn and gs than Bluegold at the end of the experiment. The Mn2+ + UV-B treatment inhibited growth, enhanced radical scavenging activity and superoxide dismutase activity, and increased the concentration of total UV-absorbing compounds, phenols and anthocyanins, mainly in Bluegold. In conclusion, Mn-resistant Brigitta showed a better acclimation response and greater resistance to the combined stress of Mn2+ toxicity and UV-B exposure than the Mn-sensitive Bluegold. An increased concentration of photoprotective compounds and enhanced resistance to oxidative stress in Brigitta could underpin increased resistance to the combined stress.


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