UV-B antagonises shade avoidance and increases levels of the flavonoid quercetin in coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

Donald P. Fraser, Ashutosh Sharma, Taryn Fletcher, Simon Budge, Chris Moncrieff, Antony N. Dodd, Keara A. Franklin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
387 Downloads (Pure)


Despite controlling a diverse array of regulatory processes in plants, UV-B wavelengths (280-315 nm) are attenuated by common greenhouse materials such as glass and polycarbonate and are therefore depleted in many commercial growing environments. In this study, we analysed the architecture, pigment accumulation and antioxidant capacity of coriander (Coriandrum sativum, also known as cilantro) plants grown with and without supplementary UV-B (1.5 μmol m-2 s-1). We demonstrate that UV-B limits stem elongation responses to neighbour proximity perception (shade avoidance), promoting a more compact plant architecture. In addition, UV-B increased leaf quercetin content and total antioxidant capacity. Arabidopsis thaliana mutants deficient in flavonoid biosynthesis were not impaired in shade avoidance inhibition, suggesting that UV-B-induced flavonoid synthesis is not a component of this response. Our results indicate that UV-B supplementation may provide a method to manipulate the architecture, flavour and nutritional content of potted herbs whilst reducing the deleterious impacts of dense planting on product quality.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17758
Number of pages11
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2017


  • UV-B
  • Coriander
  • Shade avoidance
  • Flavonoid


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