Pigment changes in cool-season turfgrasses in response to ultraviolet-B light irradiance

Edward J. Nangle, David S. Gardner, James D. Metzger, Luis Rodriguez-Saona, Maria M. Guisti, Tom K. Danneberger, Dominic P. Petrella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Pigments and phenolics that absorb ultraviolet light (UV) are involved in the protection of the photosynthetic apparatus during periods of high ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation and can be of benefit to turfgrasses. This study initiated in October 2010 and repeated in March 2011 aimed to characterize protective pigment responses to elevated UV-B in cool-season turfgrass. Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), and creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) cultivars L93 and Penncross were tested. Turfgrass pigment responses were measured over a 1-wk period during which they were subjected to 16 kJ m-2 d-1 of UV-B in growth chambers. Photoperiod was 14 h and plants were subjected to 26.2 mol m-2 d-1 photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) at 20º C day and 17°C night. Turfgrass samples were collected at Day 0, 1, 3, 5, and 7. Measurements included chlorophyll uorescence, chlorophyll pigmentation, and avonoid, phenolic, anthocyanins, and carot-enoid concentrations. Chlorophyll uorescence increased and chlorophyll quantities decreased signi cantly (P < 0.05) in UV-B conditions compared to control. All species had signi cantly (P < 0.05) higher quantities of total phenolics and avonoids at the top of the tissue canopy relative to roots and shoot tissue near the soil surface. Anthocyanins were only found in creeping bentgrass L93. Carotenoids, zeaxanthin, and β-carotene declined in the UV-B treatment for both creeping bentgrass L-93 and Penncross a er 7 d, but did not decrease for perennial ryegrass or tall fescue. Carotenoids may play a greater role in UV-B tolerance than anthocyanins in cool-season turfgrasses due to their ubiquitous presence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 13 2015
Externally publishedYes


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