ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Short-Term Exposure to Pre-Sowing Electromagnetic Radiation of Amaranth Seeds Affects Germination Energy but not Photosynthetic Pigment Content
Agata Dziwulska-Hunek, Agnieszka Sujak, Krzysztof Kornarzyński
 
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Department of Physics, University of Life science in Lublin, Akademicka 13, 20-950 Lublin, Poland
 
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2013;22(1):93–98
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ABSTRACT
The effects of short-term (30 s) exposure of amaranth seeds to low frequency magnetic field (f=50 Hz, B=30 mT), laser light radiation (λ = 632.8 nm), or to their combination on germination, plant height, and the content of photosynthetic pigments were examined. The conducted experiment consisted of three independent parts:
1 – laboratory experiment where seed germination was carried out on Petri dishes
2 – pot experiment
3 – field experiment
Pre-sowing radiation of the amaranth seeds with a single physical factor resulted in the statistically significant increase of the germination energy as compared to control. Radiation of the seeds with the combination of laser light and magnetic field induced opposite response in the case of laboratory and pot tests: significant increase of the germination energy was observed for laboratory tests while a decrease of this parameter was observed for the pot test. Pre-sowing radiation treatments did not influence germination capacity, which indicated that only early stages of the germination process were affected. Although no statistical differences were found, the results indicate that pre-sowing radiation of the seeds with a single factor resulted in an increase in the number of plants per 1m2 in field experiment.
Contents of carotenoids and chlorophylls were not affected by electromagnetic radiation. The experiments indicated a stable chlorophyll a to chlorophyll b ratio of c.a. 3.5.
An attempt to explain on the molecular level the influence of electromagnetic radiation on germination and content of photosynthetic pigments in amaranth was made.
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