Scientists in Chile discovered sunscreen potential in Antarctic plants

Vastavam web: Scientists in Chile have discovered molecules in two species of Antarctic flowers that protect the plants from solar radiation and could potentially be used in products such as sunscreen for humans and protection for vulnerable crops.Researchers at the University of Santiago investigating the properties of Antarctic plants grown under controlled conditions found that Colobanthus quitensis (pearlwort) and Deschampsia antarctica (hair grass) could tolerate high levels of ultraviolet radiation.

The scientists have identified a group of molecules in the flowers, particularly Colobanthus, that acts as a solar filter and prevents radiation damage, said project leader Gustavo Zuniga. “It could be used in the not too distant future,” he said. “For example, for a crop that doesn’t tolerate increasing levels of radiation, that genetic information could be used to make the crop respond better.”