Mar. Drugs 2010, 8(1), 106-121; doi:10.3390/md8010106
Article

Complementary UV-Absorption of Mycosporine-like Amino Acids and Scytonemin is Responsible for the UV-Insensitivity of Photosynthesis in Nostoc flagelliforme

1 Laboratory of Plant Cytophysiology, Department of Biology and Evolution, University of Ferrara, Corso Ercole I d'Este, 32, 44100 Ferrara, Italy 2 Department for Biology, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Staudtstraße 5, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 December 2009; in revised form: 5 January 2010 / Accepted: 19 January 2010 / Published: 20 January 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Photoprotective Compounds)
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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 to be especially rich in MAAs (32.1 mg g DW-1), 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 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 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 to the relevance of marine photoprotective compounds for life on Earth, especially for the colonization of terrestrial environments.
Keywords: mycosporine-like amino acids; Nostoc flagelliforme; scytonemin; photosynthesis; UV-radiation

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ferroni, L.; Klisch, M.; Pancaldi, S.; Häder, D.-P. Complementary UV-Absorption of Mycosporine-like Amino Acids and Scytonemin is Responsible for the UV-Insensitivity of Photosynthesis in Nostoc flagelliforme. Mar. Drugs 2010, 8, 106-121.

AMA Style

Ferroni L, Klisch M, Pancaldi S, Häder D-P. Complementary UV-Absorption of Mycosporine-like Amino Acids and Scytonemin is Responsible for the UV-Insensitivity of Photosynthesis in Nostoc flagelliforme. Marine Drugs. 2010; 8(1):106-121.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ferroni, Lorenzo; Klisch, Manfred; Pancaldi, Simonetta; Häder, Donat-Peter. 2010. "Complementary UV-Absorption of Mycosporine-like Amino Acids and Scytonemin is Responsible for the UV-Insensitivity of Photosynthesis in Nostoc flagelliforme." Mar. Drugs 8, no. 1: 106-121.

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