Ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation damages plants and decreases their growth and productivity. We previously demonstrated that UVB sensitivity varies widely among Asian rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivars and that the activity of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) photolyase, which repairs UVB-induced CPDs, determines UVB sensitivity. Unlike Asian rice, African rice (Oryza glaberrima Steud. and Oryza barthii A. Chev.) has mechanisms to adapt to African climates and to protect itself against biotic and abiotic stresses. However, information about the UVB sensitivity of African rice species is largely absent. We showed that most of the African rice cultivars examined in this study were UVB-hypersensitive or even UVB-super-hypersensitive in comparison with the UVB sensitivity of Asian O. sativa cultivars. The difference in UVB resistance correlated with the total CPD photolyase activity, which was determined by its activity and its cellular content. The UVB-super-hypersensitive cultivars had low enzyme activity caused by newly identified polymorphisms and low cellular CPD photolyase contents. The new polymorphisms were only found in cultivars from West Africa, particularly in those from countries believed to be centres of O. glaberrima domestication. This study provides new tools for improving both Asian and African rice productivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas