Environmental photochemistry of amino acids, peptides and proteins

Rachel A. Lundeen, Elisabeth M.L. Janssen, Chiheng Chu, Kristopher McNeill

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Amino acids, peptides and proteins are central building blocks of life and of key importance in the biogeochemistry of aquatic ecosystems. In sunlit surface waters, amino acid-based molecules at different levels of structural organization are susceptible to transformation by both direct photochemical reactions and indirect processes caused by photochemically produced reactive oxygen species (e.g. hydroxyl radicalor singlet oxygen). Photochemical transformation processes can thereby affect the availability of these crucial nutrient sources in aquatic ecosystems, inhibit the function of microbial extracellular enzymes, or even promote the degradation of amino acid-based pollutant molecules. In this article, the environmental photochemistry of amino acids, peptides and proteins in aquatic systems is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)812-824
Number of pages13
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Schweizerische Chemische Gesellschaft.


  • Amino acids
  • Environmental fate
  • Natural organic matter
  • Photochemistry
  • Proteins


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