Physiological Effects of Near-Ultraviolet Radiation on Bacteria

  • John Jagger


Near-ultraviolet (near-UV) radiation (also called “UV-A”) can be considered to lie in the wavelength range 320–400 nm. The long-wavelength limit represents the beginning of the visible spectrum, while the short-wavelength limit corresponds roughly to the point below which proteins and nucleic acids begin to absorb significantly. Below this region is the “mid-UV” region or UV-B (290–320 nm), where proteins and nucleic acids begin to absorb, and where sunburn and skin cancer are most effectively produced. “Solar-UV radiation” (UV radiation present in sunlight at the surface of the Earth at noon in clear weather) includes both the near-UV and the mid-UV regions.* Because nucleic acid and protein do not absorb significantly in the near-UV region, one can expect a wide variety of other chromophores to become important in this region, producing a wide variety of biological effects. It is also expected that the fluences required to produce these effects will be considerably higher than those required for killing by far-UV radiation (“UV-C”; 190–280 nm), because the target molecules are not as crucial to the cell as nucleic acid.


Excision Repair Action Spectrum Sublethal Effect Growth Delay Pyrimidine Dimer 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Jagger
    • 1
  1. 1.School of General StudiesThe University of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA

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