Preface

The contributions from speakers and the poster presentations for the Advanced Research Workshop (ARW), "Cell Biology and Instrumentation: UV Radiation, Nitric Oxide and Cell Death in Plants" are archived in this volume. The ARW was held at the Hotel "MRIYA", Yalta, Ukraine, from 8 to 11, September 2004. The ARW was organized to create links among scientists from NATO and Partner countries to stabilize and sustain their scientific communities. Contributions were received from the European Union, the Eastern European countries of the Former Soviet Union, and the USA.

The main aims of the Workshop were to introduce new theoretical developments and instrumentation for cell biology, update our understanding of the effects of UV radiation, and evaluate how plants use UV signals to protect against damage and enhance their productivity.

Cellular processes, signaled by UV radiation, contribute to the behavior of plants under various and different stresses in the environment. The importance of the free radical, nitric oxide (NO) was identified as a key early signal in this process. Stress-induced NO can be protective, produce physiological disorders, DNA damage, and programmed cell death (apoptosis).

This volume is divided into three parts: Instrumentation and Ecological Aspects, Effects of UV Radiation, Nitric oxide and Plant stress, and Plant Stress and Programmed Cell Death.

The Workshop:

(i) Evaluates case histories, and introduces new instruments for the non-invasive sensing and imaging of UV-stress-related damage in vegetation

(ii) Identifies the cell biological hazards of UV radiation coupled to other environmental stresses

(iii) Examines how UV light may relate to the production of NO by plants in terms of DNA damage, error-prone repair cell cycles, and the multiple mechanisms of programmed cell death

The oral and poster papers presented during the four-day meeting are included.

All attendees express their sincere gratitude to the NATO International Scientific Exchange Programme, whose financial support made the meeting possible. We also thank the agency ITEM (Intelligence, Technology, Materials) in Kyiv whose director Dr. L. Cherny-shov professionally helped us to organise the workshop. We thank V. Stepanov, N. Sukach, and P. Karpov for their clerical and technical assistance, which ensured the conference and social arrangements ran smoothly.

Yaroslav Blume, Kyiv, Ukraine Don Durzan, Davis, USA Petro Smertenko, Kyiv, Ukraine

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