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Mutagenesis: The Effect of Radiation on Radish Seeds.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Mutagenesis: The Effect of Radiation on Radish Seeds

Sujata A. Sardar

Abstract:

        Radiation refers to high-energy waves that have the capability to damage the molecular structure of atoms within cellular macromolecules, often resulting in genetic mutations due to DNA damage.  The effects of radiation can be seen through the observations of radish seeds.  We examined the effect of dosages (50,000 rads, 150,000 rads, 500,000 rads, and 4 million rads) of gamma radiation on the growth of radish seeds and compared the phenotypic results to plant growth at 0 rads, or unexposed, seeds.  Our findings indicate that the greater the dosage of gamma radiation exposed to the seeds prior to germination, the greater the effect radiation will have on the seed phenotypes and therefore the greater mutation or damage that the DNA of the seed undergoes.  Also, we saw that there may be a threshold level of radiation to which seeds must be exposed prior to seeing affects in their growth.

Introduction:

        The term “radiation” covers a wide array of types of energy, which range from nonionizing radiation to ionizing radiation.  Nonionizing radiation is a type of radiation that includes microwaves, visible light, and ultraviolet light.  Ionizing radiation includes x-rays, gamma rays, alpha and beta particles, and neutrons.  Radiation is caused by the nuclear decay of radioisotopes.  During this process, the radioisotope changes from one isotope to another and emits one or more form of radiation (South Dakota).  

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Middle

Legend for Figures 1-4

1

2

3

4

5

0 Rads

50K Rads

150K Rads

500K Rads

4M Rads

image00.png

Figure 1.  Effect of gamma radiation on full plant length.

Full Plant Length Data At Various Radiation Doses

Amount

Avg. & Std. Dev. (mm)

P Value

Effect

Control (0 Rads)

76.56 ± 48.52

---

---

50,000 Rads

69.11 ± 65.93

0.8572

N

150,000 Rads

18.44 ± 36.6

0.01615

Y

500,000 Rads

3.11 ± 6.585

0.008455

Y

4,000,000 Rads

0 ± 0

0.001558

Y

Table 2.  Statistical data for full plant length at various radiation dosages

In our observations of radiation effects on full plant length, we observed that plant length decreased as the dosage of radiation to which the seeds were exposed increased.  This can be seen by comparing the average and standard deviation of the control, unexposed seeds (76.56 ± 48.52) to seeds exposed to 50,000 rads (69.11 ± 65.93), 150,000 rads (18.44 ± 36.6), 500,000 rads (3.11 ± 6.585), and 4 million rads (0 ± 0),as one can see a decreasing trend in growth (Figure 1, Table 2).  For the full plant lengths, the standard deviations did not overlap at all (Figure 1).  Additionally, p values calculated using the Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test were 0.86 for control versus 50,000 rads, 0.016 for control versus 150,000 rads, 0.008 for control versus 500,000 rads, and 0.002 for control versus 4 million rads (Table 2).  These values suggest that radiation greatly affected the full plant in a dosage dependent manner, as the greater dosage of radiation exposure, the more effect was seen on the full plant length.  Since the p value for control versus 50,000 rads was 0.86, the difference in full plant length between the two groups is not statistically different.

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Conclusion

Ionizing radiation, such as gamma radiation, in high amounts may inhibit sprouting and cause slow seedling growth.  This may be observed in our results of radish seed growth post exposure to various levels of radiation.  Our experiment suggests that the effect of radiation is dosage dependent.  The greater the dosage of gamma radiation exposed to the seeds prior to germination, the greater the effect radiation will have on the seed phenotypes.  This indicates that the more radiation a seed is exposed to, the greater mutation or damage that the DNA of the seed undergoes.  Major effect on growth of seeds under the effect of radiation was generally seen in seeds exposed with 150,000 rads of radiation or more; this implies that there may be a threshold level of radiation to which seeds must be exposed prior to seeing affects in their growth.

References:

Baumstark, B. and T. M. Poole.  Bio3910/7910 Genetics Laboratory Manual.  

saAtlanta, January 2003.

Guidance for Radiation Accident Management Guidance for Radiation Accident

Management.  30 Jan. 2003.  < http://www.orau.gov/reacts/guidance.htm > 15 July 2003.

Health Physics Society Radiation and Seeds.  

< http://hps.og/publicinformation/ate/q1280.html > 15 July 2003.

South Dakota State Radiation Radiation Overview.  <

http://biomicro.sdstate.edu/  

Troelstn/Instruction/DistEcol/radiation2.html >  15 July 2003.  

Mutagenesis: The Effect of Radiation on Radish Seeds

Sujata A. Sardar

Biol 3910

28 July 2003

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