Significant new understanding of UV-B mediated processes in plants has been gained during the last decade. Rather than being a damaging agent, it is now recognised that UV-B radiation is a specific regulator of gene expression, metabolite profiles, and responses to climate change parameters.
In the last few years substantial progress has been made in identifying specific, regulatory UV-B-mediated processes in plants. Recent genetic studies have revealed the existence of UV-B specific signalling pathways in plants, and have identified several components. The discovery of these UV-B specific signalling pathways has really confirmed the contention that that UV-B radiation is a specific regulatory parameter that controls plant-environment relationships. Research on the molecular basis of UV-B mediated regulatory process in plants is now yielding novel understanding of the mechanisms underlying growth and phenotypic plasticity, and consequences thereof for plant performance in crop and natural ecosystems.
COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology –is a network for the coordination of nationally funded research activities. It aims to strengthen Europe in scientific and technical research through the support of European cooperation and interaction between European researchers. Funds provided by COST support coordination costs of research networks (Actions), while research is funded nationally.
The COST Action FA0906 - UV-B radiation: A specific Regulator of Plant Growth and Food Quality in a Changing Climate (UV4Growth) started in June 2010. The aim of this UV4Growth Action is to develop an integrated vision of the role of UV-B in plant growth across a range of organisational levels and natural and agricultural systems. UV4Growth will generate knowledge on the fundamentals of plant growth, food quality, and plant-environment interactions by integrating nationally and internationally funded research on UV-B mediated regulation of molecular, physiological, metabolic and ecological processes.
These objectives will be achieved by encouraging discussion and interaction between researchers through organising meetings, workshops, conferences and training schools, and by supporting exchanges of early stage researchers.
UV4growth operates through four Working Groups and three Technical Groups:
Working Group 1: Molecular UV Events
Working Group 2: UV-B Effects on Metabolites
Working Group 3: UV-B Effetcts on Organisms
Working Group 4: UV-B Effects across Trophic Levels
Technical Group 1: UV Technology
Technical Group 2: Dissemination
Technical Group 3: Training and Education