New species of water bear use fluorescent ‘ieldal’ to protect from deadly UV radiation

Suma Et al., Biology Letters (2020) 20200391

By Lakshmi Supriya

Trigrides, small aquatic animals known as water bears, can survive extreme heat, radiation, and outer space vacuum – conditions that will kill most animals. Now, scientists have discovered a new species of Tardigrad that can fatally tolerate ultraviolet (UV) light, used to get rid of hard-to-key viruses and bacteria.

The discovery was made by chance: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science scoured their campus for water bears, and then rescued them from extreme conditions. They had a disinfectant UV lamp in the lab, so they hit their samples with it. 1 kg per square meter, which killed bacteria and roundworms in just 5 minutes, was fatal Hypsibius example Tardigrades over 15 minutes; Most died 24 hours later. But all survived when they struck a strange, reddish-brown species with the same dose. What’s more, when the researchers used the dose four times, about 60% of the red-brown bears survived for more than 30 days.

The researchers realized that they had discovered a new species of tardigrade, part of it Permacrobiotics Genus. To find out how a new species of algae survived on a concrete wall in Bengaluru, India, scientists examined it with an inverted fluorescence microscope. To their surprise, under the UV light, the red terrigrades turned blue (above). Fluorescent pigments, possibly located under the skin of the tertiary grades, convert UV light into harmful blue light, the team reports today. Biology Letters. On the contrary Permacrobiotics With less pigment, died about 20 days after exposure.

Next, researchers tested fluorescent pigments and used them for coatings H. For example And many Canorhabitis Elegance Worms. Jury-hard-shelled animals survived at twice the rate of animals without ield. It is likely, scientists say, that Tarigrade fluorescence has evolved in South India by tolerating high doses of UV typically for hot summer days.