Posted on Sunday, 12 February, 2012 | 14 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."