Why plants never get sunburnt `solved`
London: Have you ever wondered why plants never get sunburnt? This is because plants make "sunscreen" in their leaves, say researchers who claim to have finally solved the mystery after a 15-year research.
Ultra-violet rays -- the most powerful part of the sun`s rays -- can damage both humans and plants. But plants rarely show signs of sun damage, despite being out in the open all day with no access to sunscreen or protective clothing.
Now, a team at Glasgow University has found that plants have evolved a way of making their own chemical "sunscreen" within their leaves, the `Daily Mail` reported.
A protein in their leaves, called UVR8, actually detects the presence of UV-B rays and starts off a chemical reaction that protects the leaves.
In their study, the researchers have revealed exactly how
plants "sense" UV-B light.
UVR8 is a "photoreceptor" -- a light detecting protein. Organisms use photoreceptors to sense particular regions of the daylight spectrum. Vertebrates, animals with backbones -- including human beings – have photoreceptors for vision.
Plants have photoreceptors that direct their growth towards a light source and trigger when they flower.
The team found that UVR8 is a completely new type of photoreceptor. The protein employs specific chemicals --"tryptophan amino acids" -- in its own structure to detect UV-B light. These amino acids very effectively sense UV-B.
Prof Gareth Jenkins, who led the study, has described the findings, published in `Science` journal as "groundbreaking".
He said: "The search for this UV-B photoreceptor was something of a Holy Grail for plant photobiologists and we were very pleased last year when we discovered that UVR8 was the UV-B photoreceptor. Now, we have found that UVR8 detects UV-B by an entirely novel mechanism."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Soldier buried under Siachen avalanche snow rescued after six days
- Panel discussion on demand for expulsion of Wahabi Syllabus from Universities- Part IV
- DNA: Analysis on India's naval prowess at International Fleet Review
- Panel discussion on demand for expulsion of Wahabi Syllabus from Universities
- Panel discussion on demand for expulsion of Wahabi Syllabus from Universities- Part II
- 12 men rape British teen girl for over 13 months; slapped with 140 years in jail
- 'Achhe din': Residents of PM Modi's adopted village to get free electricity, work in full swing
- Siachen survivor Lance Naik Hanumanthappa brought to Delhi, Army chief Dabir Singh visits RR hospital
- Deepika Padukone, Vin Diesel in first ‘xXx: The Return of Xander Cage’ video – Watch
- How Lance Naik Hanumanthappa survived 6 days below 25 feet of snow in Siachen