Total, as well as free, T4 and T3 levels were obtained over four seasons for young male infantry soldiers assigned to interior Alaska. Significant seasonal variations were found in both T3 and T4. Total T4 and T3 levels were highest in winter, while free T4 and T3 levels were highest in early spring. Correlations with melatonin levels from a concurrent study showed an association between late day (17.00) mean spot melatonin levels during the preceding summer and T3 levels in winter and spring. Differences in seasonal T4 and T3 levels between indigenous and newly arrived people in the sub-Arctic may be related not only to cold acclimation but also to light.
This study addressed whether ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana from Sweden and Italy exhibited differences in foliar acclimation to high versus low growth light intensity, and compared CO2 uptake under growth conditions with light- and CO2-saturated intrinsic photosynthetic capacity and leaf morphological and vascular features. Differential responses between ecotypes occurred mainly at the scale of leaf architecture, with thicker leaves with higher intrinsic photosynthetic capacities and chlorophyll contents per leaf area, but no difference in photosynthetic capacity on a chlorophyll basis, in high light-grown leaves of the Swedish versus the Italian ecotype. Greater intrinsic photosynthetic capacity per leaf area in the Swedish ecotype was accompanied by a greater capacity of vascular infrastructure for sugar and water transport, but this was not associated with greater CO2 uptake rates under growth conditions. The Swedish ecotype with its thick leaves is thus constructed for high intrinsic photosynthetic and vascular flux capacity even under growth chamber conditions that may not permit full utilization of this potential. Conversely, the Swedish ecotype was less tolerant of low growth light intensity than the Italian ecotype, with smaller rosette areas and lesser aboveground biomass accumulation in low light-grown plants. Foliar vein density and stomatal density were both enhanced by high growth light intensity with no significant difference between ecotypes, and the ratio of water to sugar conduits was also similar between the two ecotypes during light acclimation. These findings add to the understanding of the foliar vasculature's role in plant photosynthetic acclimation and adaptation.
The effect of solar radiation on flavonoid biosynthesis was studied in bilberry ( Vaccinium myrtillus L.) leaves. Expression of flavonoid pathway genes of bilberry was studied in the upper leaves of bilberry, exposed to direct sunlight, in the shaded leaves growing lower in the same plants and in fruits. Bilberry-specific digoxigenin-dUTP-labeled cDNA fragments of five genes from the general phenylpropanoid pathway coding phenylalanine ammonia-lyase and from the flavonoid pathway coding chalcone synthase, flavanone 3-hydroxylase, dihydroflavonol 4-reductase, and anthocyanidin synthase were used as probes in gene expression analysis. Anthocyanins, catechins, proanthocyanidins, flavonols and hydroxycinnamic acids from the leaves and fruits were identified and quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography combined with a diode array detector. An increase in the expression of the studied flavonoid pathway genes was observed in leaves growing under direct sun exposure. Also, the concentrations of anthocyanins, catechins, flavonols and hydroxycinnamic acids were higher in the leaves exposed to direct sunlight. However, the concentration of polymeric procyanidins was lower in sun-exposed leaves, whereas that of prodelphinidins was slightly increased. The results give further support for the protective role of flavonoids and hydroxy cinnamic acids against high solar radiation in plants. Also, the roles of different flavonoid compounds as a defense against stress caused by sun exposure is discussed.