Oxidative stress and enzymatic scavenging of superoxide radicals induced by solar UV-B radiation in Ulva canopies from southern Spain
Keywords:macroalgae, photosynthesis, reactive oxygen species, superoxide dismutase, Ulva, UV radiation
The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and scavenging of the superoxide radical by superoxide dismutase (SOD) was studied in mat-like canopies of the green macroalga Ulva rotundata Bliding in a tidal brine pond system in southern Spain. Artificial canopies were covered with different cut-off filters, generating different radiation conditions. ROS and SOD were assessed after three days of exposure. ROS induced lipid peroxidation depended on the position of individual thalli within the canopy and on radiation conditions. Samples exposed to the full solar spectrum were most affected, whereas samples either exposed to photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) alone or UV radiation without PAR exhibited fewer peroxidation products. The activity of SOD appeared to be controlled by the impinging UV-A and UV-B radiation and also increased in response to oxidative stress. The results provide evidence for additive effects of high PAR and UV-B under field conditions and support the previously proposed hypothesis that UV-B effects are mediated by an inhibition of the xanthophyll cycle, which increases ROS production and, consequently, causes oxidative damage to components of the photosynthetic machinery, such as proteins and pigments.
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