Comparing cytogenetic effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields in Brassica napus L and Zea mays L

Document Type: Original Article

Abstract

Many biological effects of exposure to extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields
(ELF-EMFs) have been documented, but little work carried out on plants. A meiotic study was
performed on Brassica napus L as C3 plant and Zea mays L as a C4 plant exposed to electromagnetic
fields. Our investigations were focused on plants grown from wet pretreated seeds with
3 and 10 mT for a 4 h exposure time and compared with the control plants of maize. Also our
investigation used plants grown from dry pretreated seeds with 10 mT for 4 h, wet pretreated
seeds with 10 mT for 2 h, and a control line of canola. A significant difference was observed
for meiotic characters studied among treatments. In canola the mean value of total, terminal,
and intercalary chiasmata reduced significantly in plants grown from exposed seeds, indicating
that EMFs caused reduction in the mean value of the genetic recombination. Other meiotic
characteristics including ring bivalent and quadrivalent formation reduced significantly as well.
In maize the mean value of total, terminal and intercalary chiasmata changed significantly in the
plants grown from exposed seeds to 3 mT intensity, indicating increase in genetic recombination.
Moreover, formation of ring bivalent and quadrivalent increased significantly.
All results suggested these plants react differently in some aspects against EMFs as abiotic
stress.

Keywords