Cytogenetic effects in the needles intercalar meristem of Japanese red pine in the remote period after the Fukushima NPP accident

Abstract


Background. The study of the long-term effects of chronic radiation exposure on plants and animals, which are still the subject of scientific discussion, is necessary to understand the consequences of radiation accidents. After the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, some of the young pines and spruces showed an increased frequency of apical dominance cancelling. The most probable cause of the observed morphoses is associated with damage to the apical meristem of coniferous plants by radiation in the first year of the accident, when they received the highest absorbed doses. If this hypothesis is true, then even 8 years after the accident it will be possible with high degree of probability to detect an increased level of cytogenetic abnormalities in the intercalary meristem of needles of plants from these populations.

The aim of this work was to verify this hypothesis.

Materials and methods. Five populations of Japanese red pine from territories contaminated with radionuclides as a result of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant were investigated. The frequency and spectrum of cytogenetic abnormalities in the intercalary meristem of needles were determined by the ana-telophase analysis.

Results. The frequency of aberrant cells in the needles intercalary meristem of Japanese red pine from the contaminated with radionuclides territory statistically significantly exceeds the control level in all impact sites and increases along with the dose rate. Although there is no correlation between the frequency of cytogenetic abnormalities in needles and the presence of cancellation of apical dominance in plants, all pine populations from radioactively contaminated territories are characterized by an increased frequency of both cytogenetic abnormalities and morphoses associated with the cancellation of apical dominance.

Conclusion. Radiation damage to the apical meristems of conifers in the first year of the accident, when they received the highest absorbed doses, is the most likely cause of the increased frequency of cancellation of apical dominance in the studied populations of Japanese red pine from the zone affected by the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.


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About the authors

Denis V. Vasiliev

Russian Institute of Radiology and Agroecology

Author for correspondence.
Email: treworqwert@mail.ru

Russian Federation, Obninsk

Cand. Sci. (Biol.), Senior Scientific Researcher, Laboratorу No. 6

Stanislav A. Geraskin

Russian Institute of Radiology and Agroecology

Email: stgeraskin@gmail.com

Russian Federation, Obninsk

Dr. Sci. (Biol.), Head of Laboratory No. 6

Vasyl I. Yoschenko

Institute of Environmental Radioactivity of Fukushima University

Email: r705@ipc.fukushima-u.ac.jp

Japan, Fukushima

Project Professor, PhD

Maria A. Lychenkova

Russian Institute of Radiology and Agroecology

Email: lychenkovamariya@gmail.com

Russian Federation, Obninsk

ml. scientific al. Laboratory No. 6

Kenji Nanba

Institute of Environmental Radioactivity of Fukushima University

Email: nanba@sss.fukushima-u.ac.jp

Japan, Fukushima

PhD in A.S., Professor, Faculty of Symbiotic Systems Science

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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files Action
1.
Figure: 1. Scheme of the study area. - sampling locations. Symbols in the text

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2.
Figure: 2. Anomalies of mitosis in the intercalary meristem of red Japanese pine needles: a - single fragment; b - double fragment; c - lagging behind; d - single bridge; e - double bridge; f - multipolar mitosis

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3.
Figure: 3. Frequency of cytogenetic disturbances in populations of red Japanese pine (this study) and populations of Scots pine from the 30-km zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant [19] and the Bryansk region [14]. The difference from the control is statistically significant: * p <0.05

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4.
Figure: 4. The spectrum of cytogenetic disturbances in the populations of red Japanese pine (this study) and Scots pine from the 30-km zone of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant [19] and the Bryansk region [11]. f ', m' - chromatid (single) fragments and bridges; f '', m '' - chromosomal (double) fragments and bridges; g - lagging chromosomes; mp - multipolar mitoses. The difference from the control is statistically significant: * p <0.05

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5.
Figure: 5. The relationship between the frequency of cytogenetic effects and disorders of apical dominance. On the abscissa axis of the tree group: with impaired apical dominance (FA, AA, SA, TA, OA); recovered (FR, AR, SR, TR, OR); without morphoses (FN, AN, SN, TN, ON)

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Copyright (c) 2021 Vasiliev D.V., Geras’kin S.A., Ioshchenko V., Lychenkova M., Kenji N.

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