Are Arabidopsis thaliana plants able to recover from exposure to gamma radiation? A molecular perspective

Nele Horemans, Jackline Mwihaki Kariuki, Eline Saenen, Mohamed Mysara Ahmed, Gerrit T.S. Beemster, Katrien Sprangers, Iva Pavlović, Ondrej Novak, May Van Hees, Robin Nauts, Gustavo Turqueto Duarte, Ann Cuypers

Research outputpeer-review


Most plant research focuses on the responses immediately after exposure to ionizing irradiation (IR). However, it is as important to investigate how plants recover after exposure since this has a profound effect on future plant growth and development and hence on the long-term consequences of exposure to stress. This study aimed to investigate the IR-induced responses after exposure and during recovery by exposing 1-week old A. thaliana seedlings to gamma dose rates ranging from 27 to 103.7 mGy/h for 2 weeks and allowing them to recover for 4 days. A high-throughput RNAsequencing analysis was carried out. An enrichment of GO terms related to the metabolism of hormones was observed both after irradiation and during recovery at all dose rates. While plants exposed to the lowest dose rate activate defence responses after irradiation, they recover from the IR by resuming normal growth during the recovery period. Plants exposed to the intermediate dose rate invest in signalling and defence after irradiation. During recovery, in the plants exposed to the highest dose rate, fundamental metabolic processes such as photosynthesis and RNA modification were still affected. This might lead to detrimental effects in the long-term or in the next generations of those irradiated plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107304
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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