Radiation is energy that travels through and is transferred by waves. Non-ionizing radiation and ionizing radiation are two types of radiations. Non-ionizing radiation has less energy and, therefore, is not as harmful to living cells. Ionizing radiation has higher energy and is, therefore, more harmful to living cells. Ionizing radiation can break chemical bonds. If the energy of ionizing radiation is high enough, it can destroy the nucleus of atoms, which can have a direct impact on an organism’s DNA.
Below is a list of how radiation can affect plants specifically:
· Changes in chromosomal and DNA structure, causing mutations such as inverted or deleted nucleotide sequences
· Decreased plant growth
· Decreased seed germination
· Reduced reproduction rate
· Abnormalities in the offspring of parent plants that are exposed to the radiation
· Decreased life span