A CPD photolyase gene PnPHR1 from Antarctic moss Pohlia nutans is involved in the resistance to UV-B radiation and salinity stress

Plant Physiol Biochem. 2021 Oct:167:235-244. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2021.08.005. Epub 2021 Aug 6.


In Antarctic continent, the organisms are exposed to high ultraviolet (UV) radiation because of damaged stratospheric ozone. UV causes DNA lesions due to the accumulation of photoproducts. Photolyase can repair UV-damaged DNA in a light-dependent process by electron transfer mechanism. Here, we isolated a CPD photolyase gene PnPHR1 from Antarctic moss Pohlia nutans, which encodes a protein of theoretical molecular weight of 69.1 KDa. The expression level of PnPHR1 was increased by UV-B irradiation. Enzyme activity assay in vitro showed that PnPHR1 exhibited photoreactivation activity, which can repair CPD photoproducts in a light-dependent manner. The complementation assay of repair-deficient E. coli strain SY2 demonstrated that PnPHR1 gene enhanced the survival rate of SY2 strain after UV-B radiation. Additionally, overexpression of PnPHR1 enhanced the Arabidopsis resistance to UV-B radiation and salinity stress, which also conferred plant tolerance to oxidative stress by decreasing ROS production and increasing ROS clearance. Our work shows that PnPHR1 encodes an active CPD photolyase, which may participate in the adaptation of P. nutans to polar environments.

Keywords: Abiotic stress; Antarctic moss; Cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPDs); Photolyase; Photoreactivation.

MeSH terms

  • Bryophyta* / enzymology
  • Bryophyta* / genetics
  • Bryophyta* / radiation effects
  • DNA Repair
  • Deoxyribodipyrimidine Photo-Lyase* / genetics
  • Deoxyribodipyrimidine Photo-Lyase* / metabolism
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins* / genetics
  • Plant Proteins* / metabolism
  • Pyrimidine Dimers
  • Salt Stress*
  • Ultraviolet Rays


  • Plant Proteins
  • Pyrimidine Dimers
  • Deoxyribodipyrimidine Photo-Lyase