, Volume 227, Issue 4, pp 883–891 | Cite as

High frequency (900 MHz) low amplitude (5 V m−1) electromagnetic field: a genuine environmental stimulus that affects transcription, translation, calcium and energy charge in tomato

  • David Roux
  • Alain VianEmail author
  • Sébastien Girard
  • Pierre Bonnet
  • Françoise Paladian
  • Eric Davies
  • Gérard Ledoigt
Original Article


Using an especially-designed facility, the Mode Stirred Reverberation Chamber, we exposed tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. VFN8) to low level (900 MHz, 5 V m−1) electromagnetic fields for a short period (10 min) and measured changes in abundance of three specific mRNA soon after exposure. Within minutes of electromagnetic stimulation, stress-related mRNA (calmodulin, calcium-dependent protein kinase and proteinase inhibitor) accumulated in a rapid, large and 3-phase manner typical of an environmental stress response. Accumulation of these transcripts into the polysomal RNA also took place (indicating that the encoded proteins were translated) but was delayed (indicating that newly-synthesized mRNA was not immediately recruited into polysomes). Transcript accumulation was maximal at normal Ca2+ levels and was depressed at higher Ca2+, especially for those encoding calcium-binding proteins. Removal of Ca2+ (by addition of chelating agents or Ca2+ channel blocker) led to total suppression of mRNA accumulation. Finally, 30 min after the electromagnetic treatment, ATP concentration and adenylate energy charge were transiently decreased, while transcript accumulation was totally prevented by application of the uncoupling reagent, CCCP. These responses occur very soon after exposure, strongly suggesting that they are the direct consequence of application of radio-frequency fields and their similarities to wound responses strongly suggests that this radiation is perceived by plants as an injurious stimulus.


Mode stirred reverberation chamber Radiofrequency electromagnetic field Stress Tomato Wound-like responses 



Adenylate energy charge


Bis aminophenoxy ethane tetraacetic acid


Ethyleneglycol tetraacetic acid


Electromagnetic field


Mode stirred reverberation chamber


Radio frequency


Real time quantitative PCR


Carbonyl cyanide 3-chlorophenylhydrazone



The authors wish to thank the French Ministry of Education and Research for the grant awarded to G. Ledoigt from ACI RTM 0005 “Effets biologiques et sanitaires de la téléphonie mobile” and Pr Gendraud (Université Blaise Pascal) for advices on ATP metabolism.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Roux
    • 1
  • Alain Vian
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sébastien Girard
    • 2
  • Pierre Bonnet
    • 2
  • Françoise Paladian
    • 2
  • Eric Davies
    • 3
  • Gérard Ledoigt
    • 1
  1. 1.EA 3296 ERTACUniversité Blaise PascalAubiere CedexFrance
  2. 2.UMR CNRS 6602 LASMEAUniversité Blaise PascalAubiere CedexFrance
  3. 3.Department of Plant BiologyNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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