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The influence of UV radiation on protistan evolutionUltraviolet radiation has provided an evolutionary challenge to life on Earth. Recent increases in surficial ultraviolet B fluxes have focused attention on the role of UV radiation in protistan ecology, cancer, and DNA damage. Exploiting this new wealth of data, I examine the possibility that ultraviolet radiation may have played a significant role in the evolution of the first eukaryotes, that is, protists. Protists probably arose well before the formation of a significant ozone shield, and thus were probably subjected to substantial ultraviolet A, ultraviolet B, and ultraviolet C fluxes early in their evolution. Evolution consists of the generation of heritable variations and the subsequent selection of these variants. Ultraviolet radiation has played a role both as a mutagen and as a selective agent. In its role as a mutagen, it may have been crucial in the origin of sex and as a driver of molecular evolution. As a selective agent, its influence has been broad. Discussed in this paper are the influence of ultraviolet radiation on biogeography, photosynthesis, and desiccation resistance.
Document ID
20040112174
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Rothschild, L. J. (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field CA United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology
Volume: 46
Issue: 5
ISSN: 1066-5234
Subject Category
Exobiology
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
NASA Center ARC
NASA Discipline Exobiology