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.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error