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Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 22;7:43009. doi: 10.1038/srep43009.

Radiation exposure in the remote period after the Chernobyl accident caused oxidative stress and genetic effects in Scots pine populations.

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Russian Institute of Radiology and Agroecology, Obninsk, 249032, Russia.


Even 30 years after the Chernobyl accident, biological effects of irradiation are observed in the chronically exposed Scots pine populations. Chronic radiation exposure at dose rates above 50 mGy∙yr-1 caused oxidative stress and led to the increase of antioxidants concentrations in these populations. Genetic variability was examined for 6 enzymes and 14 enzymatic loci of 6 Scots pine populations. Dose rates over 10 mGy∙yr-1 caused the increased frequency of mutations and changes in genetic structure of Scots pine populations. However, the same dose rates had no effect on enzymatic activities. The results indicate that even relatively low dose rates of radiation can be considered as an ecological factor which should be taken into account for ecological management and radiation protection of biota species.

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