The presence of UV-absorptive substances in the epidermal cells of leaves is thought to protect mesophyll tissues from the harmful effects of UV-B radiation. We examined the influence of short-term UV-B exposures on UV-absorptive (330 nm) sinapates and flavonols, and on shoot growth of the Arabidopsis wild type ecotype Landsberg erecta and two mutants. 114 deficient in chalcone synthase, and 115, deficient in chalcone/flavonone isomerase. Sequential ozone exposures were used to determine the effects of oxidative stress The levels of sinapates and flavonols on a leaf fresh weight basis increased substantially in the wild type and sinapates increased in the 114 mutant in vegetative vegetative/reproductive transitional and reproductive stage plants in response to short-term (48h) UV-B radiation. When UV-B was discontinued the levels generally decreased lo pre-exposure levels after 48 h in vegetative/reproductive but not in reproductive plants. Exposure to ozone before or alter UV-B treatment did not consistently affect the levels of these UV-absorptive compounds. Dry matter accumulation was less affected by UV-B at the vegetative and reproductive stages than at the vegetative/reproductive stage. At the vegetative/reproductive stage, shoot growth of all 3 genotypes was retarded by UV-B. Growth was not retarded by short-term ozone exposure alone but when exposure to ozone followed UV-B exposure, growth was reduced in all genotypes. Leaf cupping appeared on 115 plants exposed to UV-B.