Research Article

Physiological and morphological responses induced by α-particle radiation on Arabidopsis thaliana embryos

Published: November 12, 2014
Genet. Mol. Res. 13 (4) : 9569-9577 DOI: 10.4238/2014.November.12.5

Abstract

Alpha (a)-particle radiation has been thoroughly studied in the occupational and residential environments, but biological mechanisms induced by a-particle radiation on plants are not clearly understood. In this study, radiation effects were examined using different total doses (1, 10, 100 Gy, respectively) of 241Am, a-particle on Arabidopsis embryos. No significant difference in the germination percentage was observed between the 3 levels of doses and the control. Germination speed and root length were increased by treatment with the 1-Gy dose of a-particles, and decreased by treatment with 10- and 100-Gy doses. Moreover, the bending degree of roots increased with radiation dose, and the roots showed an “S” shape when treated with the 100-Gy dose. Root bending under the 100-Gy dose was inhibited by scavengers of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Root gravitropism and root length may respond to the consistency of ROS induced by irradiation. Further analysis of the physiological effects revealed that an increase in a-particle radiation intensity enhanced the activity of catalase and the content of malondialdehyde, but superoxide dismutase activity was reduced by treatment with 100-Gy radiation of a-particles, suggesting that the high linear energy transfer of a-particles may cause a relatively high level of membrane lipid preoxidation and high accumulation of ROS. ROS showed both physiological and morphological responses following exposure to α-particle radiation in Arabidopsis embryos.

Alpha (a)-particle radiation has been thoroughly studied in the occupational and residential environments, but biological mechanisms induced by a-particle radiation on plants are not clearly understood. In this study, radiation effects were examined using different total doses (1, 10, 100 Gy, respectively) of 241Am, a-particle on Arabidopsis embryos. No significant difference in the germination percentage was observed between the 3 levels of doses and the control. Germination speed and root length were increased by treatment with the 1-Gy dose of a-particles, and decreased by treatment with 10- and 100-Gy doses. Moreover, the bending degree of roots increased with radiation dose, and the roots showed an “S” shape when treated with the 100-Gy dose. Root bending under the 100-Gy dose was inhibited by scavengers of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Root gravitropism and root length may respond to the consistency of ROS induced by irradiation. Further analysis of the physiological effects revealed that an increase in a-particle radiation intensity enhanced the activity of catalase and the content of malondialdehyde, but superoxide dismutase activity was reduced by treatment with 100-Gy radiation of a-particles, suggesting that the high linear energy transfer of a-particles may cause a relatively high level of membrane lipid preoxidation and high accumulation of ROS. ROS showed both physiological and morphological responses following exposure to α-particle radiation in Arabidopsis embryos.

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