Role of lichen secondary metabolities and pigments UV-screening phenomenon in lichens

Gülşah ÖZYİĞİTOĞLU, Ahmed Ali AL-AMOODY, Damla YAYMAN, Tuğçe KAAN, Elif Aysu ÖZKÖK, Ahmet ÖZCAN, Ezgi ÖZEN


There are various protection mechanisms developed by living beings in response to the environmental stress conditions they encounter in their natural habitats. Many animals, plants, lichens and fungi have developed a function called screening to protect themselves against harmful rays from the sun. They reflect some of the ultraviolet rays (UV radiation) they absorb with their biofluorescence feature in different wavelength colors. In this review article, "UV-screening" by lichens spreading in terrestrial ecosystems and their symbionts (green alga, cyanobacteria and lichenized fungi) to protect themselves against adverse effects of ultraviolet radiation has been discussed based on numerous articles reviewed in the literature. It is known that lichens-specific secondary metabolites play an active role in this UV-screening event by absorbing and again reflecting light. The current information about the mechanism of UV-screening, changes depending on the lichen species and environmental conditions, and also possible protective functions of unique aromatic compounds (lichen secondary metabolites) and pigments produced by lichens, roles in UV-screening phenomenon has been presented in detail. In addition, methods used to observe damage caused by UV effect and screening in lichens are briefly mentioned, examples of some lichen species with screening are also included.


lichen, secondary metabolites, UV screening, pigment.

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