The physiological responses of terrestrial cyanobacterium Nostoc flagelliforme to different intensities of ultraviolet-B radiation
Nostoc flagelliforme is a pioneer organism in the desert and exerts important ecological functions. The habitats of N. flagelliforme are characterized by intense solar radiation, while the ultraviolet B (UV-B) tolerance has not been fully explored yet. To evaluate the physiological responses of N. flagelliforme to UV-B radiation, three intensities (1 W m−2, 3 W m−2 and 5 W m−2) were used, and the changes in photosynthetic pigments, cell morphology, mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) synthesis and cell metabolism were comparatively investigated. Under high UV-B intensity or long term radiation, chlorophyll a, allophycocyanin and phycocyanin were greatly decreased; scanning electron microscope observations showed that cell morphology significantly changed. To reduce the damage, cells synthesized a large amount of carotenoid. Moreover, three kinds of MAAs were identified, and their concentrations varied with the changes of UV-B intensity. Under 1 W m−2 radiation, cells synthesized shinorine and porphyra-334 against UV-B, while with the increase of intensity, more shinorine turned into asterine-330. Metabolite profiling revealed the contents of some cytoprotective metabolites were greatly increased under 5 W m−2 radiation. The principal component analysis showed cells exposed to UV-B were metabolically distinct from the control sample, and the influence on metabolism was particularly dependent on intensity. The results would improve the understanding of physiological responses of N. flagelliforme to UV-B radiation and provide an important theoretical basis for applying this organism to control desertification.