Send to

Choose Destination
Health Phys. 2011 Oct;101(4):375-82. doi: 10.1097/HP.0b013e3181f56bf8.

Effects of ionizing radiation on the antioxidant system of microscopic fungi with radioadaptive properties found in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

Author information

Zabolotny Institute of Microbiology and Virology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine.


Some microscopic fungi found in the area of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone appear to have unique radioadaptive properties associated with their capability to respond positively to the effects of ionizing irradiation. On the one hand, this capability can be used potentially in bio-remediation technologies, and on the other hand, it requires additional, more thorough studies to identify its underlying mechanisms. Practically, no data are currently available on mechanisms for implementation of these radioadaptive properties by microscopic fungi. The objective of the completed study was to evaluate the functioning of the antioxidant system of a microscopic fungus as one of potential mechanisms for implementation of its radioadaptive properties. The study was performed using a model system simulating the soil radioactivity in the 5-km zone around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, with the ratio of the radioactive isotopes matching the radionuclide content in the fuel component of the Chernobyl fallout. The completed study was the first ever performed to identify a comprehensive response of the major components of the antioxidant system of the microscopic fungi to ionizing radiation, resulting in an induced melanin synthesis and increased activity of the known enzymes of antioxidant protection. Their response to ionizing radiation depended on the presence or absence of radioadaptive properties and phase of the fungal growth. Fungi with radioadaptive properties have a much higher susceptibility for inducing synthesis of melanin and antioxidant enzymes than fungi without radioadaptive properties (hereinafter referred to as the reference species or strains), which illustrates the contribution of these processes to "radiophilia" of the fungi.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center