Responses to Ionizing Radiation

  • S. Ichikawa
Part of the Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology book series (PLANT, volume 12 / A)


Various types of ionizing radiations cause diversely different injuries in living organisms, namely, from those at genie or molecular level to those at ecosystem level. These biological responses at different levels result in many cases from some primary radiation effects (sometimes rather simple) on molecules composing living organisms, but magnified through the complicacy and delicacy of life phenomenon and of the structure of organisms, by the self-reproducing function (genetic phenomenon) characteristic of living organisms, and also by the organic interrelation between different organisms. Ionizing radiations to which plant species are exposed include those from space and those emitted by natural or man-made radioactive nuclides. Among them, special attention must be paid to man-made radiation, since many of the man-made radioactive nuclides which have not existed on the Earth (and, of course, which have not been encountered by organisms in their long evolution) are often concentrated heavily in biological tissues and through food chains, and they therefore tend to exhibit much greater genetical, physiological and ecological influences, as will be described in this chapter.


Somatic Mutation Linear Energy Transfer Relative Biological Effectiveness Soaked Seed Somatic Mutation Frequency 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1981

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  • S. Ichikawa

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