Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects of pulsed magnetic fields on root development in plants cuttings med./bio.

Published in: Bioelectrochem Bioenerg 1984; 12: 567-573

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of pulsing magnetic fields of the type used to stimulate bone healing on the rate of root formation in plant cuttings.

Background/further details

The authors hoped to demonstrate that pulsing magnetic fields can alter the formation of roots and thus perhaps be of use in the propagation of plants by asexual means. Six cuttings of each species were used for both the control and exposure groups (total of 12 cuttings). All experiments were run in duplicate.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 15 Hz
Modulation type: pulsed
Exposure duration: 12 hr

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 15 Hz
Exposure duration 12 hr
Modulation type pulsed
Pulse width 200 µs
Fall time 20 µs
Additional info

pulse train with 27 pulses; pulse train duration = 5 ms

Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup pair of 20 cm x 20 cm Helmholtz-aiding air-gap coils with 24 turns of Nr. 15 B&S gauge enamelled magnetic wire; plastic plant containers placed between the coils
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 2 mT peak value estimated - -
magnetic flux density 0.2 mT average over time estimated - -
electric field strength 1.5 mV/m average over time estimated - -
electric field strength 15 mV/m peak value estimated - -
current density 1 µA/cm² - estimated - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The number of roots produced by each cutting was altered significantly for only two types of cuttings: Begonia and Forsythia hardwood. These two developed approximately twice as many roots in exposure as in control groups. For all types of cuttings, root elongation was suppressed by the magnetic field exposure. The level of suppression was significant for all classes except the Forsythia hardwood.
In conclusion, the magnetic field may have a positive effect on the differentiation process (root formation) and a repressive effect on proliferation/cell enlargment (root length). Further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms.

Study character:

Study funded by

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