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Cell damage caused by ultraviolet B radiation in the desert cyanobacterium Phormidium tenue and its recovery process

Wang, Gaohong, Deng, Songqiang, Liu, Jiafeng, Ye, Chaoran, Zhou, Xiangjun, Chen, Lanzhou
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2017
DNA damage, DNA repair, Phormidium tenue, acetylcysteine, algae, antioxidants, biological soil crusts, chlorophyll, enzymes, fluorescence, lipid peroxidation, photosynthesis, pigments, sand, topsoil, ultraviolet radiation
Phormidium tenue, a cyanobacterium that grows in the topsoil of biological soil crusts (BSCs), has the highest recovery rate among desert crust cyanobacteria after exposure to ultraviolet B (UV-B) radiation. However, the mechanism underlying its recovery process is unclear. To address this issue, we measured chlorophyll a fluorescence, generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), lipid peroxidation, and repair of DNA breakage in P. tenue following exposure to UV-B. We found that UV-B radiation at all doses tested reduced photosynthesis and induced cell damage in P. tenue. However, P. tenue responded to UV-B radiation by rapidly reducing photosynthetic activity, which protects the cell by leaking less ROS. Antioxidant enzymes, DNA damage repair systems, and UV absorbing pigments were then induced to mitigate the damage caused by UV-B radiation. The addition of exogenous antioxidant chemicals ascorbate and N-acetylcysteine also mitigated the harmful effects caused by UV-B radiation and enhanced the recovery process. These chemicals could aid in the resistance of P. tenue to the exposure of intense UV-B radiation in desertified areas when inoculated onto the sand surface to form artificial algal crusts.