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Int J Radiat Biol. 2017 Mar;93(3):330-339. doi: 10.1080/09553002.2016.1254835. Epub 2016 Dec 12.

Temporal variability of the quality of Taraxacum officinale seed progeny from the East-Ural radioactive trace: is there an interaction between low level radiation and weather conditions?

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a Laboratory of Population Radiobiology , Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences , Ekaterinburg , Russia.



The multiple stressors, in different combinations, may impact differently upon seed quality, and low-level doses of radiation may enhance synergistic or antagonistic effects.


During 1991-2014 we investigated the quality of the dandelion (Taraxacum officinale s.l.) seed progeny growing under low-level radiation exposure at the East-Ural Radioactive Trace (EURT) area (result of the Kyshtym accident, Russia), and in plants from areas exposed to background radiation. The viability of the dandelion seed progeny was assessed according to chronic radiation exposure, accounting for the variability of weather conditions among years. Environmental factors (temperature, precipitation, and their ratio in different months) can modify the radiobiological effects. We found a wide range of possible responses to multiple stressors: inhibition, stimulation, and indifferent effects in different seasons.


The intraspecific variability of the quality of dandelion seed progeny was greatly increased under conditions of low doses of chronic irradiation. Temperature was the most significant factor for seed progeny formation in the EURT zone, whereas the sums of precipitation and ratios of precipitation to temperature dominantly affected organisms from the background population.


Kyshtym accident; Taraxacum officinale; low level radiation; quality of seed progeny; stressful ‘memory’; weather condition

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