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Evaluation of Biologically Harmful Ultraviolet Radiation in Antarctica with a Biological Dosimeter Designed for Aquatic Environments

Deneb Karentz and Louise H. Lutze
Limnology and Oceanography
Vol. 35, No. 3 (May, 1990), pp. 549-561
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2837609
Page Count: 13
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Evaluation of Biologically Harmful Ultraviolet Radiation in Antarctica with a Biological Dosimeter Designed for Aquatic Environments
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Abstract

A biological dosimeter had been developed for use in aquatic environments. This method is based on the sensitivity of a DNA repair-deficient strain of Escherichia coli (CSR06) to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The dosimeter permits evaluation of the penetration of biologically active UV radiation within a water column, reflecting the potential effect of exposure over selected time intervals. With the use of various filters, the biological dosimeter can discriminate between the effects of UV-B (280-320 nm) and UV-A (320-400 nm) or other selected portions of the solar UV spectrum. During springtime ozone depletion over the Antarctic in 1988, a general relationship was observed between stratospheric ozone concentration and the contribution of incident solar UV-B radiation to lethality of dosimeter cells. The use of dosimeters within the water column indicated that significant amounts of UV-B can be transmitted to a depth of 10 m and biological effects of UV could be detected to 20 and 30 m. Biological dosimeters may provide a means of standardizing in-water UV measurements across all types of aquatic habitats and at any geographical location.

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