Use of action spectra for identifying molecular targets and mechanisms of action of solar ultraviolet light

Authors

  • Meyrick J. Peak,

    Corresponding author
    1. Photobiology Group, Division of Biological and Medical Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.
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  • Jennifer G. Peak

    1. Photobiology Group, Division of Biological and Medical Research, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439, USA.
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  • This paper is part of the contribution to the International Workshop on the Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation on Plants, held in Delhi, India, 1–5 November, 1982.

M. J. Peak (reprint requests)

Abstract

The use of action spectra in the elucidation of the mechanisms of biological action of solar ultraviolet radiation that reaches the surface of the earth is reviewed, and precautions in the preparation and interpretation of such action spectra are discussed. Original experiments are also described which show correlations between lethality and DNA breakage caused by monochromatic solar ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths in Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, which may constitute evidence for an important biological role of DNA breaks leading to lethality in these microorganisms.

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