Quantitation of pyrimidine dimers in DNA from UVB-irradiated alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) seedlings.

F. E. Quaite, B. M. Sutherland, John C. Sutherland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Depletion of stratospheric ozone will increase the solar ultraviolet radiation in the range from 290-320 nm (UVB) that reaches the surface of the earth, placing an increased UV burden on exposed organisms. One consequence of increased UVB may be decreased productivity of crop plants. A principal lesion caused by UV in DNA is the cyclobutyl pyrimidine dimer. We have adapted a method for measuring these dimers in nanogram quantities of non-radioactive DNA for use in UV-irradiated plants. We find that biologically relevant doses of broad band UVB radiation induce easily detectable frequencies of pyrimidine dimers in the DNA of irradiated alfalfa sprout leaves and that the dose response for dimer formation is linear up to doses of at least 690 J m-2. We also find easily measurable frequencies of dimers in the leaves of seedlings grown in glass filtered sunlight but not exposed to additional UVB, suggesting that significant numbers of dimers are formed in plants exposed to normal sunlight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-175
Number of pages5
JournalApplied and theoretical electrophoresis : the official journal of the International Electrophoresis Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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