Use of various biomarkers to explore the effects of GSM and GSM-like radiations on flowering plants

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2018 Sep;25(25):24611-24628. doi: 10.1007/s11356-018-2734-3. Epub 2018 Jul 20.


Since last decade, GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) technology has evidently revolutionized our digital world. It uses electromagnetic frequency radiations (EMFr), ranging 850-1900 MHz, and is being composed of three main units (i.e., mobile station, access and core networks). GSM technology has significant impact on our daily life as revealed by increased number of mobile users in the world over. The main goal of the present review is to critically revisit the available literature regarding the responses of various flowering plant species towards GSM and GSM-like radiations using physiological, biochemical, molecular and cytological markers using in vitro approaches. Different monocots (tomato, onion, wheat and maize etc.) and dicots (pulses, mustard and flax) have been studied using both GSM mobile phone and GSM simulators. Different studies revealed overall reductions in germination, root-shoot lengths, dry weight, in both dose and time-dependent manners. However, there could be found incline in various parameters at biochemical and molecular levels. Furthermore, there could be found disturbances at cytological levels upon exposure of roots of onion to EMFr radiations. The overall literature review shows the negative effects of GSM and GSM-like radiations on targeted plant species. In order to alleviate the stressful effects of EMFr radiations on plants, in vivo studies need to be done using various cost-effective approaches such as use of biochar and various organic amendments.

Keywords: Antioxidants; Biomarkers; Dicots; Electromagnetic frequency radiation; Flowering plants; GSM technology; Monocots; Reactive oxygen species.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Germination / radiation effects
  • Magnoliopsida / radiation effects*
  • Plant Roots / cytology
  • Plant Roots / radiation effects
  • Radiation Exposure / analysis*


  • Biomarkers