Have a few questions regarding radiation and seed germination / impact on plants. Does cellphone charging or microwave usage have an impact on seed germination? See this article as a possible starting point Effect of Two Brands of Cell Phone on Germination Rate and Seedling of Wheat (<i>Triticum aestivum</i>). When I germinate things such as tomatoes in the house are things like the microwave and charging the cellphone having an impact on germination rate? Fluorescent grow lights which I’ve used many times are said to reduce sleep in humans by suppressing melatonin production Fluorescent lamps and health - Wikipedia. We have all heard rumors about the use of some types of CFL bulbs results in greater exposure to some forms of radiation. They are said to be as safe as any other bulb at 1 foot of distance. We have all heard discussions pointing the finger at cellphones in a host of other problems such as colony collapse disorder occurring with honey bees Colony Collapse Disorder: Recent Study Suggests Cell Phone Radiation May Be Caus. I use certain tools at my work to detect sources of signal interference from items such as microwaves and Fluorescent lights in regards to wireless signal quality. This article gives some insight into how microwaves work https://www.fda.gov/Radiation-EmittingProducts/RadiationEmittingProductsandProcedures/HomeBusinessandEntertainment/ucm116385.htm . When I see rust spots at the front of my microwave due to age I buy another and even then I limit my exposure. Many of us use smart home items such as wireless cameras, smart plugs, smart tv’s , etc. so do you ever wonder how this is impacting your seedlings in your home? So what about blue light from your smart phone Blue light has a dark side - Harvard Health. Ever wonder why sometimes you cant sleep so what does this technology do to our plants? So my next question is do we need to tinfoil and tent our plant seedlings to block outside radiation from other devices and to gain light exposure to our seedlings? It would also increase humidity which would be good. Are automated timers and remote light control ok to use on seed beds? Charging cellphones are very questionable but what about non charging cellphones or wireless devices around our plant beds Effect of Mobile Phone Radiation on Nodule Formation in the Leguminous Plants.? Lets please not turn this into a global warming discussion and rather limit this to just germinating seedlings only. I really want to know for purposes of automation of grow beds etc. and not turn this into a health concern topic or anything beyond just germinating seedlings or impact possibly it has on pollinators regarding fruit or vegetable growing. The other topics are great lounge topics. I hesitated to post this topic and reference certain impact on human health but my goal is to find out as much as I can about how technology impacts plants. I have had entire beds fail to germinate which I concluded at the time was due to poor seed quality but was it? I wrap seeds sometimes in a damp paper towel first and germinate the seeds prior to planting them so I’m already sure they will all grow before they ever go into my potting mixture. Anyone else use similar techniques? Typically I reserve the technique of pre sprouting seed to when I’m using older seeds someone sent me. Agriculture is being modernized before our eyes! Do you think a driver will evn be in the tractor seat in a field in 5 years? What about in a combine harvesting grain? Do you think watering systems will be fully automated and if so how do you think all of these things will get automated? I think everything will be automated via gps, cellular, wireless, smart technologies etc. and those items are the very things in question of impacting agriculture in a negative way. Can we pollinate a field at the same time our automation technology is impacting our pollinators? Can we germinate a field if the technology impacts germination? Aquaponics needs to be concerned with fish health and plants. Hydroponics is similar with nutrients solutions being injected in water automatically. I have many questions but i’m not finding much research yet to support the new technology. Greenhouses can use automated heat and light systems but we don’t want to use technology that impacts our plants.
I had not given much thought to radiation and plants other than the light spectrum. I have been using shop lights mostly with daylight bulbs to start seeds instead of fancy grow lights. I do worry about the postal service and other carriers irradiating packages again making it difficult to ship any seed or plant.
I always cringe when I see houses under a microwave tower. I am more concerned about the effects of radiation pollution on people. It’s the world we live in and going off the grid is not an option for now although I would far better the most.
Clark, until you see scientific documentation that the nucleus within seeds and within cell walls are diminishing in some capicity, I wouldn’t give it another thought. (I read everything you wrote but didn’t click on any of the links so forgive me for just that).
I’m a laymen and the only thing I know is that people who’ve undergone heart surgery aren’t supposed to use a Playstation wireless controller or stand near a microwave.
I think that would only pertain if they had a cardiac pacemaker implanted. Otherwise, for any other cardiac surgical procedure (valve replacement, arterioplasty, etc.), I can’t imagine that proximity to anything producing an electromagnetic field would pose any issues.
What Lucky says makes sense. I’m no expert either, but I do know we use a good sized magnet to stop pacemakers after an individual is pronounced.
Clark, there is probably a big grey area in this topic, eg. intensity or frequency of the radiation and then aspects of the seed such as size and covering, or even state of germination where they may be more vulnerable. And then there is the aspect of the water and microbial soil life which may show more of an influence than the seed.
As gardeners I think our best approach is to focus on how to improve the vitality of what we are growing given all the real or assumed modern insults. I enjoy experimentation. Last summer I built a device and experimented with activated water. Plants watered with this displayed increased vitality similar to what I had read about. Haha, it was one of those experiments that really panned out. Last fall I experimented with magnets to improve germination rate & seedling vitality. That really panned out too. So I got some magnets to test their influence on grafts this spring.
No double blind placebo controlled crossover studies and blah, blah, blah. Just trial and error and watching vitality and having way too much fun.
I hate to divert the discussion too much, but as many are probably aware gamma radiation has been routinely used to produce seedless fruit. In fact, the cold hardy, mostly seedless citrus I saw at ABAC this summer are a result of this technique. While I’m not a fan of GMO products, not necessarily because of genetic alteration, I do think DNA modification will be very widespread and useful in the future. CRISPR seems far more elegant than the The Hulk gamma radiation approach.
“Radiation” is everything from very low frequency radio signals to gamma waves.
Generally speaking I would expect non-ionizing radiation to have essentially zero effect on seed germination.
Ionizing radiation’s effects would depend on length/intensity of exposure but could certainly cause a variety of ill effects.
One way to think of the electromagnetic spectrum, thus radiation, is to think of the size of antenna required to pick up the radiation.
As the radiation gets higher in frequency (thus intrinsic energy of the particles) the smaller the antenna that is needed to pick it up. So you go from extremely long waves in radio spectrum (~500 meters for AM radio) to microwaves (wifi is 2.4GHz = 0.125 m, so the antennas on your wifi router are full-wave antennas approximately). At the low end of the microwave spectrum, the antenna starts to be the rotational frequencies of molecules like water. So you throw water in a cup and into a microwave oven and apply the radiation and the faster rotation of the water molecules imparts energy and thus heat.
Then you get into infrared where the “antenna” is the vibrations between atoms of molecules.
Visible light excites electrons between energy levels within molecules or atoms.
Then you get into “ionizing radiation” UV and smaller wavelengths (X-rays and gamma rays). The shortest UV light and all shorter radiation is capable of ionizing matter, which means kicking electrons out from an atom.
X-rays are created by electrons hitting matter and also are capable of kicking electrons out of atoms.
Gamma rays are (generally) created by radioactive decay and span the same energy/wavelength ranges as X-rays. Gamma rays can be absorbed (sometimes) and emitted by the nucleus of atoms.
I did an experiment in '71 (?) with sorghum seeds. I used seeds all the way from unsprouted to having several leaves (so, I guess this is mostly about very young plants) and I used about 8 different dosages of radiation, nuclear heavy-duty stuff, not what we would call radio waves…and had a control group. Of course there were dosages that were too high but some amounts of radiation created the ‘nuclear aftermath’ effect (seen in the movies) of making giant plants. I wish I could remember what happened to the unsprouted seeds…sorry. Don’t use a reactor as a seed incubator and you’ll probably be OK on that regard.
Since microwaves react with H2O molecules a concern about those is legit…except modern microwave ovens shouldn’t be leaking energy. The concern with pacemakers is probably more of a signal issue than an energy issue. It’s worth looking into but like Dax says, if there’s anything to be concerned about there should be science stuff published.
I can’t keep up with you guys. It’s interesting to try and understand what on earth you’re talking about though. You guys are light years beyond my simple way of life. Chemistry is my weak point. Mathematics my strongest point. And would someone please tell me why on earth I needed to read Shakespeare? How about a class on how to install a ceiling fan or wire an electrical switch or basic building of a house in high school… sure would’ve done me and a lot of folks a lot better off than reading Shakespeare. There’s my pitch. Carry on please…
I would love to hear more about this if possible. Did the entire sample grow large, or was it a few seeds in the sample and the rest were smaller?
I have never seen giant plants or animals as a result of radiation, I have seen the opposite plenty of times. I haven’t the greatest amount of experience though, I don’t know enough to safely play around at home other than using something relatively safe such as americium 241.
Many are concerned about the impact microwave radiation has on health. The Russians at one point used it on The U.S. embassy. Because they believed it had an ill effect on people. The illness was not proven but rather the study disproved it Microwaves in the cold war: the Moscow embassy study and its interpretation. Review of a retrospective cohort study. Im more concerned with plants regarding radiation. This article is fascinating https://www.mnn.com/your-home/organic-farming-gardening/stories/radioactive-mutant-produce-was-once-thing. Here is another interesting article Effects of Radiation on Plants
Of course nuclear radiation will kill seeds. You will never be able to sprout a commercial almond seed, because they are all irradiated with nuclear waste before sale. Lesser amounts will modify seeds genetically as mentioned by clark.
OTOH, I did an experiment with broccoli seeds (for sprouting) two years ago. One jar was right by my router, the other was there too (same temp), but covered in tin foil (so in a Faraday cage). zero difference in germination, I ate them both.
I don’t remember anything about the dosages. I suspect there would be info on-line about something of this nature because, what can’t be found on the interwebs these days? I don’t recall any seeds not sprouting after being irradiated, but again, I don’t remember much about it. There were definite differences in terms of results of dosages and to a lesser extent differences related to timing in the plants young life. As
The real deal is that microwaves will affect many molecules; it’s a vibrational timing thing. Being two feet from a leaky 1200W microwave oven is very different than six feet away from a wifi source, which is way different than being 1/4" away from a cell phone.
“…bear in mind that the radio transmissions from cell phones are six to twenty times more powerful than WiFi signals, and that increasing distance from the WiFi base station decreases exposure levels dramatically.” Some say 20 min.s of cell phone usage = 1 year of wifi.
To sum it up: there is an effect of nuclear-style radiation. At ‘optimum’ levels it could create very large plants. My experiment with young plants showed that plainly.
To considerably lessen your electromagnetic radiation exposure use headphones/ear buds with cell phones, and hand-held transceivers.
Not sure about seeds, but you can thank radiation for the variety of cherry called Compact Stella.
‘Compact Stella’ (S3 S4m) (Lapins, 1975) originated as a mutant with semidwarf growth habit through 4 kR of X-rays irradiation of dormant scions of self-compatible ‘Stella’ (S3 S4m) cherry (Lapins, 1970). The irradiation was done by the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, Long Island, N.Y., USA in 7964.