Removal of the local geomagnetic field affects reproductive growth in Arabidopsis

Authors


Institute of Electrical Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Zhongguancun, Beijing 100190, P.R. China.

Abstract

The influence of the geomagnetic field-removed environment on Arabidopsis growth was investigated by cultivation of the plants in a near-null magnetic field and local geomagnetic field (45 µT) for the whole growth period under laboratory conditions. The biomass accumulation of plants in the near-null magnetic field was significantly suppressed at the time when plants were switching from vegetative growth to reproductive growth compared with that of plants grown in the local geomagnetic field, which was caused by a delay in the flowering of plants in the near-null magnetic field. At the early or later growth stage, no significant difference was shown in the biomass accumulation between the plants in the near-null magnetic field and local geomagnetic field. The average number of siliques and the production of seeds per plant in the near-null magnetic field was significantly lower by about 22% and 19%, respectively, than those of control plants. These resulted in a significant reduction of about 20% in the harvest index of plants in the near-null magnetic field compared with that of the controls. These results suggest that the removal of the local geomagnetic field negatively affects the reproductive growth of Arabidopsis, which thus affects the yield and harvest index. Bioelectromagnetics. 34:437–442. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Ancillary