Protective effect of supplemental low intensity white light on ultraviolet-B exposure-induced impairment in cyanobacterium Spirulina platensis: Formation of air vacuoles as a possible protective measure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Intact trichomes of Spirulina platensis were exposed to 1-5 h of low (0.2 mW cm-2) or high (0.6 mW cm-2) intensity UV-B (280-320 nm) radiation, alone or with photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) of supplemental 50 μE m-2 s-1 white light (WL). The mitigating effect of supplemental WL on UV-B induced alterations in Spirulina were investigated by monitoring time-dependent change in photosystem (PS) II mediated O2 evolution, absorption, circular dichroism (CD) spectra, and ultrastructure. At low intensity, UV-B induced loss in PS II-catalyzed O2 evolution, but caused no change in the absorption spectrum. At high intensity, UV-B caused a decrease in absorption by phycobilisomes (PBsomes), which was only partly prevented by the presence of low-intensity supplemental WL. The CD spectral analysis revealed that UV-B exposure caused time-dependent enhancement of the negative psi-type bands at 452 and 689 nm, reflecting alterations in the macroaggregation of chlorophyll-protein complexes. This enhancement of negative PS II-type bands was substantially arrested by the presence of supplemental WL exposure, even when UV-B exposure was continued for 5 h. These changes in UV-B-induced CD spectrum suggest alterations in the antenna structure of Spirulina involving both PBsomes and Chlorophyll a. Thus, supplemental low intensity WL arrests, to large extent, the macroaggregation of pigment-protein complexes. Furthermore, the electron micrographs of Spirulina revealed that UV-B exposure caused disorganization of the cellular ultrastructure, while the inclusion of supplemental WL enhanced the formation of air vacuoles in Spirulina. We suggest that the formation of vacuoles by supplemental WL is a protective feature against UV-B.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-189
Number of pages9
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2005



  • Chl a antennas
  • Photosynthetic active radiation
  • Phycobilisomes
  • Ultrastructure
  • Ultraviolet-B
  • Vacuoles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

Cite this