Aberrant cell divisions in root meristeme of maize following exposure to X-rays low doses compared to similar effects of 50 Hz electromagnetic exposure
1 “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Faculty of Physics - Iasi, Romania
2 “L. Blaga” University, Faculty of Sciences - Sibiu, Romania
3 Institute of Biological Research - Iasi, Romania
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The response of maize to radiation exposure was investigated by two cytogenetic methods considering the importance of the geno-toxic effect for environmental and agricultural purposes. Uniform genophond seeds, freshly germinated, were exposed to relatively low radiation doses using a radiotherapy X-ray applicator from a hospital irradiation device and to a 50 Hz electromagnetic field with about 10 mT magnetic induction (generated within laboratory assembled electromagnetic coils). Radicular meristeme tissue aliquots were prevailed for cytogenetic investigation based on microscopic observations and cell counting. Microscope slides were prepared following a specific procedure (squash technique and Feulgen method based on modified Carr reactive coloration). Mitotic index as well as chromosomal aberration percentage were calculated for more than 30,000 cells taken into account. From a qualitative viewpoint, chromosomal aberrations such as interchromatidian bridges, lagging and expelled chromosomes and multipolar divisions were evidenced - no distinct situation for either ionizing radiation or electromagnetic field being identified. The main quantitative difference consisted in the increased mitotic index for electromagnetic exposure increased times compared with the diminished mitotic index in the case of low X-ray doses.
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