Effects of extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields on growth, cytogenetic, protein content and antioxidant system of Zea mays L.
Electromagnetic fields are an important environmental factor that can influence the growth and development of plants. Exposure to EMFs was performed by a locally designed EMF generator. 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. Different treatments differed significantly in morphological characters. Mitotic analyses indicated a positive influence of EMF on the rate of cell proliferation in pretreated seeds with 3 mT intensity for a 4 h exposure time, and showed decrease in chromosomal aberrations. The reverse occurred in pretreated seeds with 10 mT intensity for a 4 h exposure time. The mean value of total, terminal and intercalary chiasmata changed significantly in the plants grown from exposed seeds to 3 mT intensity indicating that EMFs increases genetic recombination. A significant decrease in protein content of pre-treated samples as well as alteration in the number and intensity of bands was observed. EMFs with the magnitude of 3 and 10 mT for 4 h caused significant increase in catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidaes (APX) activities in both root and shoot tissues.
Key words: Zea mays, cytogenetic, protein content, antioxidant system, electromagnetic fields.