Extremely high frequency electromagnetic fields at low power density do not affect the division of exponential phase Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells

Bioelectromagnetics. 1997;18(2):142-55. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1521-186x(1997)18:2<142::aid-bem7>3.0.co;2-2.


Exponentially growing cells of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae were exposed to electromagnetic fields in the frequency range from 41.682 GHz to 41.710 GHz in 2 MHz increments at low power densities (0.5 microW/cm2 and 50 microW/cm2) to observe possible nonthermal effects on the division of this microorganism. The electronic setup was carefully designed and tested to allow precise determination and stability of the electromagnetic field parameters as well as to minimize possible effects of external sources. Two identical test chambers were constructed in one exposure system to perform concurrent control and test experiments at every frequency step under well-controlled exposure conditions. Division of cells was assessed via time-lapse photography. Control experiments showed that the cells were dividing at submaximal rates, ensuring the possibility of observing either an increase or a decrease of the division rate. The data from several independent series of exposure experiments and from control experiments show no consistently significant differences exposed and unexposed cells. This is in contrast to previous studies claiming nonthermal effects of electromagnetic fields in this frequency range on the division of S. cerevisiae cells. Possible reasons for this difference are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Division / radiation effects
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Microwaves / adverse effects*
  • S Phase / radiation effects
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / growth & development
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / physiology
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / radiation effects*