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UV-Irradiated Microbes "Resuscitated" With Visible Light Spectrum: a Possible Clue
In the July 1999 issue of ASM News, p. 461, my letter to the editor was entitled "Validation of the Concept of Microbial Resuscitation.'' I stated that for my master's thesis in microbiology at the University of Michigan, some time ago, I had irradiated E. coli microbes with UV light with zero growth after irradiation. These same microbes were ``resuscitated'' when subjected to a visible light spectrum. Abundant growth was obtained. I quoted James D. Oliver, and agreed that ``There is certainly a great deal of study necessary to understand the molecular and physiological basis for this state'' of microbial resuscitation.
It appears that a publication in the August 1999 ASM News may provide an explanation for the revival of UV irradiated microbes with a visible light spectrum. This publication is entitled ``Bacterial Responses to Ultraviolet Light,'' p. 535-541, by Miller et al. They state that ``bacteria repair UV-induced damage--require visible light in the violet to blue range (between about 380-430 nm) as a cofactor to repair damaged DNA.'' The authors provide an excellent study on the biochemical, physiological, and molecular explanation of bacterial damage to UV irradiation and repair with visible light spectrums. I for one would like to thank these authors for a study well done.
Robert J. Matusow
December 8, 1999
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