A General Pattern in Nature? Start Here...
This is the sort of result we got when we looked. We repeated the DNA synthesis work in the presence and absence of UV. This is the one set of data that I'm showing you from New Zealand. This is on the mat but something I'm trying to stress through this is the sort of patterns that I'm seeing are not unique to one organism or the other but they seem to be general patterns you see over and over. Different organisms in different ecologies, different taxonomic groups. I would almost be willing to bet that if I repeated all of this on cotton plants--I never said cotton plants before in a lecture--you would have the same results.
At any rate, what I'm trying to emphasize is I think what we're seeing are general patterns of nature, these organisms cueing into an environmental effect rather than just being something peculiar: well yes, I heard this talk on algae on Saturday with this protist chauvinist. Now let's go back to real organisms. What I think is we're seeing something that's a very general sort of phenomenon. And the results we got was you look at the UV transparent. Here's the UV transparent, a similar sort of pattern we showed before. The one picture I'll show you is error bars. This is to remind you that the experiments are all done in replicate. It's not easy to replicate out in nature because you've got a stop watch, you're running around trying to grab bags under different trees and hopefully you don't have some hail or grizzly bears.
But doing field molecular biology is a different sort of game here. Here's a UV transparent just exactly as we expected. Now here's the result that we got under the UV opaque tree. And then we started to think back into the recesses of our knowledge and thought a little bit about the way the organisms repair damage. Now one way that we can do this is to produce things like antioxidants and neutralized radicals.