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Micron. 2002;33(2):179-97.

Effects of ultraviolet radiation on plant cells.

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  • 1Department of Medical Chemistry, Molecular Biology and Pathobiochemistry, Semmelweis University Budapest, Puskin u. 9., 1088 Budapest, Hungary.


Recent measurements of ozone levels have led to concern that the stratospheric ozone layer is being depleted as a result of contamination with man-made chlorofluorocarbons. Concomitantly, the amounts of solar UV-B radiation reaching the Earth's surface is increasing. UV-B radiation has been shown to be harmful to living organisms, damaging DNA, proteins, lipids and membranes. Plants, which use sunlight for photosynthesis and are unable to avoid exposure to enhanced levels of UV-B radiation, are at risk. Thus, mechanisms by which plants may protect themselves from UV radiation are of particular interest. This review will summarizes the main aspects of ultraviolet radiation on plants at physiological and biochemical level, with particular emphasis on protective structures and mechanisms.

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