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Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on seed germination and root meristematic cells of Allium cepa L.

Published in: Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen 2009; 672 (2): 76-81

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To examine the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields on seed germination, root growth as well as mitotic activity and induction of chromosome aberrations in root meristematic cells of onions.
Background/further details: Seeds were exposed to electromagnetic fields with varying frequency, field strength and exposure duration. For each exposure and the corresponding control group five petri dishes with 10 seeds each were prepared.

Endpoint

Exposure

    • RF field
Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 400–900 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 h
Exposure 2: 400–900 MHz
Modulation type: AM
Exposure duration: continuous for 4 h
Exposure 1
Main characteristics
Frequency 400–900 MHz
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 2 h
Additional info two frequencies were used: 400 MHz and 900 MHz
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup seeds placed in GTEM cell perpendicular to the electric field
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 10 V/m minimum measured - -
electric field strength 23 V/m - measured - -
electric field strength 41 V/m - measured - -
electric field strength 120 V/m maximum measured - -
Exposure 2
Main characteristics
Frequency 400–900 MHz
Type
Waveform
Exposure duration continuous for 4 h
Additional info two frequencies were used: 400 MHz and 900 MHz
Modulation
Modulation type AM
Modulation frequency 1 kHz
Modulation depth 80 %
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
electric field strength 23 V/m - measured - -
Reference articles
Exposed system:
  • plant
  • onion (Allium cepa)

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated material:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Germination rates and root length did not change significantly after exposure to radiofrequency fields under any of the experimental conditions.
An increase of the mitotic index in root tips was observed at 900 MHz after exposure to higher field strengths or modulated fields, while a 2-hour exposure to lower field strengths at 900 MHz as well as most of the treatments at 400 MHz did not have any effect compared with control groups (except for modulated fields). At 400 MHz mitotic and chromosomal abnormalities were found only after exposure to higher field intensities and to a modulated field, while at 900 MHz they were found after all investigated exposures.
Radiofrequency field exposure can induce mitotic abnormalities in root meristematic cells that could be due to impairments of the mitotic spindle. The effects depend on the field frequencies, field strengths and modulation.
Study character:

Study funded by

  • not stated/no funding

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