This review of the history of ultraviolet photobiology focuses on the effects of UV-B (280-315 nm) radiation on terrestrial plants. It describes the early history of ultraviolet photobiology, the discovery of DNA as a major ultraviolet target and the discovery of photoreactivation and photolyases, and the later identification of Photosystem II as another important target for damage to plants by UV-B radiation. Some experimental techniques are briefly outlined. The insight that the ozone layer was thinning spurred the interest in physiological and ecological effects of UV-B radiation and resulted in an exponential increase over time in the number of publications and citations until 1998, at which time it was realized by the research community that the Montreal Protocol regulating the pollution of the atmosphere with ozone depleting substances was effective. From then on, the publication and citation rate has continued to rise exponentially, but with an abrupt change to lower exponents. We have now entered a phase when more emphasis is put on the "positive" effects of UV-B radiation, and with more emphasis on regulation than on damage and inhibition
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