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Review Article|01 Sep 2021|OPEN
UV-B light and its application potential to reduce disease and pest incidence in crops
Prisca Meyer1, Bram Van de Poel1 & Barbara De Coninck1,
1Division of Crop Biotechnics, Department of Biosystems, KU Leuven, 3001 Leuven, Belgium

Horticulture Research 8,
Article number: 194 (2021)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2021.194
Views: 52

Received: 19 Jan 2021
Revised: 08 Jul 2021
Accepted: 13 Jul 2021
Published online: 01 Sep 2021


Ultraviolet-B radiation (280–315 nm), perceived by the plant photoreceptor UVR8, is a key environmental signal that influences plant growth and development and can reduce disease and pest incidence. The positive effect of UV-B on disease resistance and incidence in various plant species supports the implementation of supplemental UV-B radiation in sustainable crop production. However, despite many studies focusing on UV-B light, there is no consensus on the best mode of application. This review aims to analyze, evaluate, and organize the different application strategies of UV-B radiation in crop production with a focus on disease resistance. We summarize the physiological effects of UV-B light on plants and discuss how plants perceive and transduce UV-B light by the UVR8 photoreceptor as well as how this perception alters plant specialized metabolite production. Next, we bring together conclusions of various studies with respect to different UV-B application methods to improve plant resistance. In general, supplemental UV-B light has a positive effect on disease resistance in many plant–pathogen combinations, mainly through the induction of the production of specialized metabolites. However, many variables (UV-B light source, plant species, dose and intensity, timing during the day, duration, background light, etc.) make it difficult to compare and draw general conclusions. We compiled the information of recent studies on UV-B light applications, including e.g., details on the UV-B light source, experimental set-up, calculated UV-B light dose, intensity, and duration. This review provides practical insights and facilitates future research on UV-B radiation as a promising tool to reduce disease and pest incidence.