Among Indica rice cultivars (Oryza sativa L. cvs.) that belong to the aus ecotype from the tropical Bengal region, where the amount of ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation in the solar radiation is relatively great, Marich-bati cultivar has exhibited resistance to UV-B radiation, while Surjamkhi cultivar appeared to be less resistant. We have examined the susceptibility to cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) induction by UV-B radiation and the ability to photorepair CPDs using these two cultivars. UV-B radiation produced similar dimer levels in the leaves of the two cultivars. In contrast, the ability to photorepair CPDs in the UV-sensitive Surjamkhi cultivar was lower than that in the UV-resistant Marich-bati cultivar. These results were similar to our previous data, namely, that a UV-sensitive Japanese rice cultivar (Oryza sativa L. cv. Norin 1) cultivated in the moderate climate of Japan is deficient in its ability to photorepair CPDs. Thus, these results suggest that a strong correlation exists between the sensitivity to UV-B and the photorepair deficiency, and that a low ability in CPD photorepair may be a principal factor in determining the UV-B sensitivity in rice plants.
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