Efficient mechanism of DNA repair stabilizes genome of Arabidopsis thaliana from the Chernobyl zone
Natsional'na Akademiya Nauk Ukrainy. Dopovidi: naukovyi zhurnal
84 ОПОВІДІ НАЦІОНАЛЬНОЇ АКАДЕМІЇ НАУК УКРАЇНИ БІОЛОГІЯ 30 years have passed since the explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986, and today, despite of heavy affection of radiation, flora is abundant even in the most contaminated sites of the Exclusion zone. This phenomenon proves plant adaptation to life in the chronic radiation environment and on soils polluted by heavy metals. Unfortunately, due to technological catastrophes and devastating economics, there is a continuous
... a continuous contamination by heavy metals and radiation throughout the world, which affects animals and plants and threatens human health. At the same time, despite its notoriety, the Chernobyl area along with other anthropogenically contaminated places could be considered as the unique area allowing the investigation of genetic changes in organisms after a long-time impact of genotoxins. Such anthropogenically polluted areas provide scientific challenges to researches, and the outcome of the investigations will contribute significantly to the biotechnology of plant stress tolerance, soil remediation, and human health protection. Since plants cannot avoid environmental influences, their active vegetation in the Chernobyl zone evidences the application of extremely efficient mechanisms for minimizing harmful effects. As is known, radiation and heavy metals trigger a wide range of physiological and biochemical alterations causing DNA single-and double-strand breaks, and this results in the genome instability with potentially lethal consequences for the whole organism. During the first decade after the Chernobyl disaster (1986)(1987)(1988)(1989)(1990)(1991)(1992), several studies have been performed to analyze plant genome Tolerance to radiomimetics and heavy metals has been investigated in Arabidopsis thaliana plants collected in the Chernobyl zone. Decrease of root growth and DNA damage level of a single cell have been evaluated. Tolerance of A. thaliana from the zone to the growth on genotoxic medium has been revealed. It is noted that certain Arabidopsis plants recover genomic DNA faster than control ones collected outside of the zone. Screening revealed plant lines expressing various levels of tolerance to genotoxins.