Effect of UV-B radiations on the pigments of two Antarctic lichens of Schirmacher Oasis, East Antarctica
Antarctic plants experience UV-B stress and for their survival they have been showing various adaptive strategies. The first line of defence is to screen UV-B radiation before it reaches the cell, then to minimize damage within the cells through other protective strategies, and finally to repair damage once it has occurred. A fifteen days experiment was designed to study lichen: Dermatocarpon sp. and Acarospora gwynnii under natural UV and below UV filter frames in the Indian Antarctic Station Maitri region of Schirmacher Oasis, East Antarctica. Changes in UV absorbing compounds, total phenolics, total carotenoids and chlorophyll content were studied. The change in total phenolics and total carotenoid content was significant in both Dermatocarpon sp. and A. gwynnii indicating that the increase in UV absorbing compounds, total phenolics and total carotenoid content act as a protective mechanism against the deleterious effect of UV-B radiations, whereas the change in chlorophyll content was not significant in both lichen species.