The Role of Mycosporinelike Amino Acids as Protectants Against Ultraviolet Radiation During Development of Green Sea Urchins, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensisEPA Grant Number: U915222
Title: The Role of Mycosporinelike Amino Acids as Protectants Against Ultraviolet Radiation During Development of Green Sea Urchins, Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis
Investigators: Adams, Nikki L.
Institution: University of Maine
EPA Project Officer: Smith, Bernice
Project Period: January 1, 1997 through January 1, 2000
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1997) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Biology/Life Sciences , Fellowship - Zoology
The objectives of this research project are to: (1) determine how ultraviolet radiation (UVR) affects the development of sea urchins; and (2) whether mycosporinelike amino acids (MAAs, potential UV-sunscreens) protect sea urchin embryos and larvae against long-term exposure to UVR.
The penetration of UVR and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) was measured in waters off the coast of Maine to determine the levels of UV exposure local marine invertebrates experience. To examine how specific wavelengths of UVR affect development of urchin embryos, embryos were exposed to one of three treatments using selective wavelength filters: (1) PAR only; (2) PAR + UVA (320-400 nm); or (3) PAR + UVA and UVB. Embryos were exposed for 7 hours per day immediately after fertilization and during their development to pluteus larvae, and were examined daily for normal development or morphological abnormalities. To determine whether MAAs protect against UV-induced damage during development, I protected urchin embryos having high or low concentrations of MAAs from UVR (PAR only) or exposed them to UVR (PAR + UVA + UVB), and assessed their development as described above. MAA concentrations were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. The percentage of embryos developing normally was compared to MAA concentrations of eggs to determine whether these compounds protect against UV-induced damage.