, Volume 253, Issue 4, pp 1043–1049 | Cite as

EMF radiations (1800 MHz)-inhibited early seedling growth of maize (Zea mays) involves alterations in starch and sucrose metabolism

  • Arvind Kumar
  • Harminder Pal Singh
  • Daizy R. Batish
  • Shalinder Kaur
  • Ravinder Kumar Kohli
Original Article


The present study investigated the impact of 1800-MHz electromagnetic field radiations (EMF-r), widely used in mobile communication, on the growth and activity of starch-, sucrose-, and phosphate-hydrolyzing enzymes in Zea mays seedlings. We exposed Z. mays to modulated continuous wave homogenous EMF-r at specific absorption rate (SAR) of 1.69±0.0 × 10−1 W kg−1 for ½, 1, 2, and 4 h. The analysis of seedlings after 7 days revealed that short-term exposure did not induce any significant change, while longer exposure of 4 h caused significant growth and biochemical alterations. There was a reduction in the root and coleoptile length with more pronounced effect on coleoptile growth (23 % reduction on 4-h exposure). The contents of photosynthetic pigments and total carbohydrates declined by 13 and 18 %, respectively, in 4-h exposure treatments compared to unexposed control. The activity of starch-hydrolyzing enzymes—α- and β-amylases—increased by ∼92 and 94 %, respectively, at an exposure duration of 4 h, over that in the control. In response to 4-h exposure treatment, the activity of sucrolytic enzymes—acid invertases and alkaline invertases—was increased by 88 and 266 %, whereas the specific activities of phosphohydrolytic enzymes (acid phosphatases and alkaline phosphatases) showed initial increase up to ≤2 h duration and then declined at >2 h exposure duration. The study concludes that EMF-r-inhibited seedling growth of Z. mays involves interference with starch and sucrose metabolism.


EMF radiations Amylases Starch-hydrolyzing enzymes Sucrose metabolism Invertases Phosphatases 



The authors acknowledge the Ministry of Environment and Forests (India) and Department of Science and Technology (India) for financial assistance. Arvind Kumar is thankful to the University Grants Commission for providing research fellowship under UGC-BSR scheme.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arvind Kumar
    • 1
  • Harminder Pal Singh
    • 2
  • Daizy R. Batish
    • 1
  • Shalinder Kaur
    • 1
  • Ravinder Kumar Kohli
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of BotanyPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Department of Environment StudiesPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia
  3. 3.Central University of Punjab, City CampusBathindaIndia

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