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Radiat Environ Biophys. 2007 Mar;46(1):31-41. Epub 2006 Dec 15.

Cytogenetic effect of low dose gamma-radiation in Hordeum vulgare seedlings: non-linear dose-effect relationship.

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Russian Institute of Agricultural Radiology and Agroecology, Kievskoe shosse109 km, 249030, Obninsk, Russia.


The induction of chromosome aberrations in Hordeum vulgare germinated seeds was studied after ionizing irradiation with doses in the range of 10-1,000 mGy. The relationship between the frequency of aberrant cells and the absorbed dose was found to be nonlinear. A dose-independent plateau in the dose range from about 50 to 500 mGy was observed, where the level of cytogenetic damage was significantly different from the spontaneous level. The comparison of the goodness of the experimental data fitting with mathematical models of different complexity, using the most common quantitative criteria, demonstrated the advantage of a piecewise linear model over linear and polynomial models in approximating the frequency of cytogenetical disturbances. The results of the study support the hypothesis of indirect mechanisms of mutagenesis induced by low doses. Fundamental and applied implications of these findings are discussed.

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