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.
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.
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 h
Modulation type: AM
Exposure duration: continuous for 4 h
|Modulation frequency||1 kHz|
|Modulation depth||80 %|
|electric field strength||23 V/m||-||measured||-||-|
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.