EMF radiations (1800 MHz)-inhibited early seedling growth of maize (Zea mays) involves alterations in starch and sucrose metabolism

Protoplasma. 2016 Jul;253(4):1043-9. doi: 10.1007/s00709-015-0863-9. Epub 2015 Aug 16.


The present study investigated the impact of 1800-MHz electromagnetic field radiations (EMF-r), widely used in mobile communication, on the growth and activity of starch-, sucrose-, and phosphate-hydrolyzing enzymes in Zea mays seedlings. We exposed Z. mays to modulated continuous wave homogenous EMF-r at specific absorption rate (SAR) of 1.69±0.0 × 10(-1) W kg(-1) for ½, 1, 2, and 4 h. The analysis of seedlings after 7 days revealed that short-term exposure did not induce any significant change, while longer exposure of 4 h caused significant growth and biochemical alterations. There was a reduction in the root and coleoptile length with more pronounced effect on coleoptile growth (23 % reduction on 4-h exposure). The contents of photosynthetic pigments and total carbohydrates declined by 13 and 18 %, respectively, in 4-h exposure treatments compared to unexposed control. The activity of starch-hydrolyzing enzymes-α- and β-amylases-increased by ∼92 and 94 %, respectively, at an exposure duration of 4 h, over that in the control. In response to 4-h exposure treatment, the activity of sucrolytic enzymes-acid invertases and alkaline invertases-was increased by 88 and 266 %, whereas the specific activities of phosphohydrolytic enzymes (acid phosphatases and alkaline phosphatases) showed initial increase up to ≤2 h duration and then declined at >2 h exposure duration. The study concludes that EMF-r-inhibited seedling growth of Z. mays involves interference with starch and sucrose metabolism.

Keywords: Amylases; EMF radiations; Invertases; Phosphatases; Starch-hydrolyzing enzymes; Sucrose metabolism.

MeSH terms

  • Amylases / metabolism
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism / radiation effects
  • Electromagnetic Radiation*
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Seedlings / growth & development*
  • Seedlings / metabolism
  • Seedlings / radiation effects
  • Starch / metabolism*
  • Starch Phosphorylase / metabolism
  • Sucrose / metabolism*
  • Zea mays / growth & development*
  • Zea mays / metabolism
  • Zea mays / radiation effects
  • beta-Fructofuranosidase / metabolism


  • Plant Proteins
  • Sucrose
  • Starch
  • Starch Phosphorylase
  • Phosphoric Monoester Hydrolases
  • Amylases
  • beta-Fructofuranosidase