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Why do plants never get sunburn ?

Posted on Sunday, 12 February, 2012 | Comment icon 15 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 2.5 Stefan Wernli

A 15 year study has finally determined why plants don't suffer from sunburn despite constant exposure.

A team in Glasgow has discovered that plants are able to produce a chemical sunscreen within their own leaves through a protein that is able to detect the presence of UV-B rays and initiate a protective chemical reaction. "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," said professor Gareth Jenkins.

"It would never have occurred to most of us to even wonder about it, but a group of Glasgow researchers have spent 15 years working out why plants don't get sunburnt."

  View: Full article |  Source: Daily Mail

  Discuss: View comments (15)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by Khrono on 13 February, 2012, 2:17
Are you guys so incredibly short sighted and ignorant? Do you lot realize that discovering how plants with 12 hour a day exposure every single day can resist the sun and never quite .... Just wait.... Cancer!? If we could reproduce this effect in humans... Once again... Wait for it... We could prevent skin cancers in humans!! Wow, novell idea right!?
Comment icon #7 Posted by vitruvian12 on 13 February, 2012, 2:19
I think its you that will be waiting for that result.
Comment icon #8 Posted by 27vet on 13 February, 2012, 6:11
Plants have to manufacture their own sunscreen because they can't go to the store and buy it. (except triffids)
Comment icon #9 Posted by Capt Amerika on 15 February, 2012, 14:30
15 YEARS? The European Union is financially strapped as well, and here they ar ewasting money on stuff like this. The time for studies like this is when countries have the extra cash to spend. ridiculous.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Yellow Jacket on 19 February, 2012, 16:12
@vitruvian12 If they can harness the natural protection plants offer, then it is a possible cure for cancer. If we can utilize something like this to protect us from the harmful rays of the sun and only gain from the sun's useful rays, then this is viable research.
Comment icon #11 Posted by vitruvian12 on 19 February, 2012, 18:41
Protection from the suns rays isnt a cure for cancer. Its preventative. Aside from that I was only using cancer research as an example, I dont believe we should commit all resources to that area.
Comment icon #12 Posted by thedutchiedutch on 21 February, 2012, 3:12
Exactly, well said Khrono
Comment icon #13 Posted by VvROMULUSvV on 22 February, 2012, 7:05
Of course plants get sunburn.. what a ridiculous notion. But when they get sunburned they actually get burned! Just put a large leafed shade plant in the sun and see what happens! Admittedly, that's more from the infrared spectrum. Chlorophyll absorbs uv - plants are made to sit in the sun. This is so stupid, really. If they're talking about cancer, forget it, plants don't get cancer because they're cells don't work the same way. Most plant cells are not pre-programmed, but are triggered when required (that's why cuttings make roots duh).
Comment icon #14 Posted by jaguarsky on 23 February, 2012, 16:56
I live in S.TX and I have a whole back yard full of sunburned plants I could have shown them last summer.

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