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The Effect of Electromagnetic Radiation at Frequencies of 51.8 and 53.0 GHz on Growth, Pigment Content, Hydrogen Photoemission, and F0F1-ATPase Activity in the Purple Bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides


Exposure of the purple bacteria Rhodobacter sphaeroides MDC6522 isolated from Jermuk mineral springs (Armenia) to extremely high-frequency electromagnetic radiation (51.8 and 53.0 GHz) for 15 min resulted in a pronounced increase in the specific growth rate and H2 photoemission. However, a significant decrease in the specific growth rate (1.6–2.0 times) was observed when the duration of irradiation was prolonged to 1 h. The maximum effect was at a frequency of 53.0 GHz. During irradiation for 1 h, absorption maxima typical of carotenoids gradually disappeared, and the level of bacteriochlorophyll а complexes decreased. Prolonged irradiation also inhibited the H2 production during bacterial growth for 72 h, although it was restored after 96 h of growth. The activity of N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide-sensitive proton F0F1- ATPase also decreased in Rh. sphaeroides. These results indicate that the membrane-bound F0F1-ATPase may be the main target of action of extremely-high-frequency electromagnetic radiation. The data we obtained can be used in biotechnology for control of growth and hydrogen metabolism of phototrophic bacteria.

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electromagnetic radiation of extremely high frequency


oxidation-reduction potential

BCHL a :

bacteriochlorophyll a




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Correspondence to A. Trchounian.

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Original Russian Text © L. Gabrielyan, V. Kalantaryan, A. Trchounian, 2018, published in Biofizika, 2018, Vol. 63, No. 3, pp. 468–474.

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Gabrielyan, L., Kalantaryan, V. & Trchounian, A. The Effect of Electromagnetic Radiation at Frequencies of 51.8 and 53.0 GHz on Growth, Pigment Content, Hydrogen Photoemission, and F0F1-ATPase Activity in the Purple Bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides. BIOPHYSICS 63, 351–356 (2018).

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  • Rhodobacter sphaeroides
  • electromagnetic irradiation of extremely high frequency
  • growth of bacteria
  • oxidation-reduction potential
  • H2 production
  • F0F1-ATPase