1932

Abstract

Organisms living in clear, shallow water are exposed to the damaging wavelengths of solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) coincident with the longer wavelengths of photosynthetically available radiation (PAR) also necessary for vision. With the general exception of bacteria, taxonomically diverse marine and freshwater organisms have evolved the capacity to synthesize or accumulate UV-absorbing mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs), presumably for protection against environmental UVR. This review highlights the evidence for this UV-protective role while also considering other attributed functions, including reproductive and osmotic regulation and vision. Probing the regulation and biosynthesis of MAAs provides insight to the physiological evolution and utility of UV protection and of biochemically associated antioxidant defenses.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.physiol.64.081501.155802
2002-03-01
2024-04-18
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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