CRC 235 Emergence of Life

Breadcrumb Navigation


UV Resistance of Nucleosides—An Experimental Approach

M. Winkler 2020 ASC Earth Space Chem.


Max Winkler, Barbara M. Giuliano, and Paola Caselli

ACS Earth Space Chem.


The emergence of life on Earth is a highly discussed but still unsolved question. Current research underlines the importance of environments within close proximity to the Earth’s surface as they can solve long-standing problems such as polymerization of nucleotides and phosphorylation of nucleosides. However, near-surface settings, for example, ponds or ice shields, are prone to UV irradiation. We investigated the photosensitivity of uracil, uridine, adenosine, cytidine, and guanosine by using Raman microscopy. The samples were irradiated by a UV source with 150 mW/cm2 for 10 min. Uracil and uridine showed the highest photosensitivity, while adenosine, cytidine, and guanosine remained stable. The change of spectral features and ab initio quantum calculations indicate the formation of uracil’s trans-syn cyclobutane dimer during UV irradiation.