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J Bacteriol. Oct 1988; 170(10): 4675–4680.
PMCID: PMC211507

Role of cloned carotenoid genes expressed in Escherichia coli in protecting against inactivation by near-UV light and specific phototoxic molecules.


Genes controlling carotenoid synthesis were cloned from Erwinia herbicola and expressed in an Escherichia coli strain. Carotenoids protect against high fluences of near-UV (NUV; 320 to 400 nm) but not against far-UV (200-300 nm). Protection of E. coli cells was not observed following treatment with either psoralen or 8-methoxypsoralen plus NUV. However, significant protection of cells producing carotenoids was observed with three photosensitizing molecules activated by NUV (alpha-terthienyl, harmine, and phenylheptatriyne) which are thought to have the membrane as an important lethal target. Protection of carotenoid-producing cells against inactivation was not observed with acridine orange plus visible light but was seen with toluidine blue O plus visible light.

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Selected References

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