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Complementary UV-absorption of mycosporine-like amino\ud acids and scytonemin is responsible for the UV-insensitivity of\ud photosynthesis in Nostoc flagelliforme

By Ferroni L., Klisch M., Pancaldi S. and Häder D.-P.

Abstract

Mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) and scytonemin are UV-screening compounds that have presumably appeared early in the history of life and are widespread in cyanobacteria. Natural colonies of the UV-insensitive Nostoc flagelliforme were found\ud to be especially rich in MAAs (32.1 mg/gDW), concentrated in the glycan sheath together with scytonemin. MAAs are present in the form of oligosaccharide-linked molecules. Photosystem II activity, measured using PAM fluorescence and oxygen evolution, was used as a most sensitive physiological parameter to analyse the\ud effectiveness of UV-protection. Laboratory experiments were performed under controlled conditions with a simulated solar radiation specifically deprived of UV-wavebands with cut-off filters (295, 305, 320, 345 and 395 nm). The UV-insensitivity of N. flagelliforme was found to cover the whole UV-A (315–400 nm) and UV-B (280–320 nm) range and is almost certainly due to the complementary UV-absorption of MAAs and scytonemin. The\ud experimental approach used is proposed to be suitable for the comparison of the UV-protection ability in organisms that differ in their complement of UV-sunscreen compounds. Furthermore, this study performed with a genuinely terrestrial organism points\ud to the relevance of marine photoprotective compounds for life on Earth, especially for the colonization of terrestrial environments

Topics: Mycosporine-like amino acids, Nostoc flagelliforme, scytonemin, photosynthesis, UV-radiation
Year: 2010
DOI identifier: 10.3390/md8010106
OAI identifier: oai:iris.unife.it:11392/1383555
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