UV-B radiation may have either a positive or negative impact under the same conditions in wheat, depending on the type of secondary abiotic stressor: Cd or drought. Supplemental UV-B prevented the wilting and leaf rolling induced by PEG treatment. In contrast, combined UV-B and Cd treatment resulted in pronounced oxidative stress. The opposite effect of UV-B radiation in the case of drought or cadmium stress may be related to the alteration induced in the fatty acid composition. UV-B caused changes in the unsaturation of leaf phosphatidylglycerol fractions, and the accumulation of flavonoid in the leaves may prevent the stress induced by subsequent drought treatment. However it resulted in pronounced injury despite the increased flavonoid content in roots exposed to Cd. This was manifested in a drastic decrease in the unsaturation of the leaf monogalactosyldiacylglycerol and the root phosphatidylglycerol and digalactosyldiacylglycerol fractions. Data on the flavonoid content and fatty acid composition showed that oxidative stress was induced by drought in the leaves, by Cd in the roots, and interestingly, by UV-B radiation in both the leaves and roots. The additive effect of the combined stresses was also detected in the roots. The results presented here suggest a relationship between the capacity of the plant to remodel the fatty acid composition and its resistance to various stress factors.