Photoprotection in phytoplankton

New study shows different photoprotective mechanisms on phytoplankton when exposed to higher UVR and temperature.

photograpy of a water bath to evaluate different mechanisms of photoprotection of phytoplankton against UVR at different temperatures.

Phytoplankton use different protective mechanisms/strategies against high solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Some species perform vertical migration (toward deeper waters with lower UVR levels), some species sinthetize protective compounds which absorb radiation and some species dissipate excess energy as heat in a more efficient way. These mechanisms or strategies are species-specific and depend also on temperature.

The article was published in Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology (click to see it on the publisher’s website).

Complete reference

Halac, S.R., V.E. Villafañe, R.J. Gonçalves & E.W. Helbling. 2014. Photochemical responses of three marine phytoplankton species exposed to ultraviolet radiation and increased temperature: Role of photoprotective mechanisms. Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, 141: 217-227.


This work was supported by Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas—CONICET, Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica – ANPCyT and Fundación Playa Unión, all from Argentina.