Do Plants use UV Radiation?

September 8, 2018

Plants do not use UV radiation for photosynthesis, and it can cause cellular damage and plant death, but there are some benefits to providing small amounts.

A tomato plant growing exclusively under yellow colored light emitted from a high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamp.
PC: Leslie F. Halleck

Cryptochromes absorb several wavelengths of UV radiation for various beneficial functions. UV damage to plants stimulates them to produce protective antioxidants, resins, oils, and other chemicals that give them flavor. UV light can also toughen up young seedlings so they can more easily transition to higher-intensity lighting without experiencing shock.

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