Radiosensitivity and transgenerational effects in non-human species

Christelle Adam-Guillermin, T. Hertal-Aas, Deborah Oughton, L. Blanchard, Frédéric Alonzo, Olivier Armant, Nele Horemans

    Research outputpeer-review


    The ALLIANCE working group on effects of ionising radiation on wildlife brings together European researchers to work on the topics of radiosensitivity and transgenerational effects in non-human biota. Differences in radiation sensitivity across species and phyla are poorly understood, but have important implications for understanding the overall effects of radiation and for radiation protection; for example, sensitive species may require special attention in monitoring and radiation protection, and differences in sensitivity between species also lead to overall effects at higher levels (community, ecosystem), since interactions between species can be altered. Hence, understanding the mechanisms of interspecies radiation sensitivity differences may help to clarify mechanisms underpinning intraspecies variation. Differences in sensitivity may only be revealed when organisms are exposed to ionising radiation over several generations. This issue of potential long-term or hereditary effects for both humans and wildlife exposed to low doses of ionising radiation is a major concern. Animal and plant studies suggest that gamma irradiation can lead to observable effects in the F1 generation that are not attributable to inheritance of a rare stable DNA mutation. Several studies have provided evidence of an increase in genomic instability detected in germ or somatic cells of F1 organisms from exposed F0 organisms. This can lead to induced radiosensitivity, and can result in phenotypic effects or lead to reproductive effects and teratogenesis. In particular, studies have been conducted to understand the possible role of epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, histone modifications, or expression of non-coding RNAs in radiosensitivity, as well as in adaptation effects. As such, research using biological models in which the relative contribution of genetic and epigenetic processes can be elucidated is highly valuable.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAnnals of the ICRP
    Subtitle of host publicationICRP 2017 Proceedings
    PublisherSAGE Publications
    Number of pages15
    StatePublished - 1 Oct 2018
    Event2017 - ICRP-ERPW: 4th International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection - Paris
    Duration: 10 Oct 201712 Oct 2017

    Publication series

    NameAnnals of the ICRP


    Conference2017 - ICRP-ERPW
    Internet address

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