Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Effect on germination and early growth characteristics in sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seeds exposed to static magnetic field. med./bio.

Published in: J Plant Physiol 2010; 167 (2): 149-156

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study the effects of various magnetic field strengths and durations on germination, field emergence and root development of sunflowers.

Endpoint

Exposure

Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1:
Exposure duration: continuous for 1 h, 2 h, 3 h or 4 h

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency
Type
Exposure duration continuous for 1 h, 2 h, 3 h or 4 h
Exposure setup
Exposure source
Setup two 16 cm long coils with a diameter of 9 cm and 3000 turns placed horizontally opposite each other with a gap of 5 cm between them; a cylindrical sample holder made of a non-metallic thin transparent plastic sheet placed between the coils;
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Additional info field variation in the exposure area: 0.6 % horizontally and 1.6 % vertically for 50 mT 0.4 % horizontally and 1.2 % vertically for 250 mT
Parameters
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
magnetic flux density 50 mT minimum measured - -
magnetic flux density 100 mT - measured - -
magnetic flux density 150 mT - measured - -
magnetic flux density 200 mT - measured - -
magnetic flux density 250 mT maximum measured - -

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

Exposure of sunflower seeds to static magnetic fields significantly increased the speed of germination, seedling length and seedling dry weight under laboratory germination test conditions compared to control seeds. Among the various exposure combinations, 50 mT and 200 mT for 2 h yielded the peak performance: Seeds exposed to these treatments increased field emergence percent and dry weights in one month old plants. Root length, surface area and volume also increased in exposed seeds compared to the controls.
Exposure of seeds to static magnetic fields improved seed coat membrane integrity and reduced the cellular leakage and electrical conductivity.
In germinating seeds, enzyme activities of alpha-amylase, dehydrogenase and protease were significantly higher in exposed seeds compared to controls. The higher enzyme activities in static magnetic field exposed sunflower seeds are possibly responsible for the quick germination, improved seedling vigor and better root characteristics.
The improved functional root parameters suggest that magnetically exposed sunflower seed can be used in practical agriculture where better root growth will enable extraction of moisture from deeper soil layers.

Study character:

Study funded by

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