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Effect of UV Radiation and Other Abiotic Stress Factors on DNA of Different Wild Plant Species Grown in Three Successive Seasons in Alpine and Subalpine Regions

Svetla P. Gateva1,*, Gabriele Jovtchev1, Tsveta V. Angelova1, Tzvetana P. Nonova2, Nikolay Tyutyundzhiev3, Elena G. Geleva2, Kostadin Katrandzhiev1, Nina A. Nikolova2, Dimitar Dimitrov4, Christo V. Angelov2

1 Department of Ecosystem Research, Environmental Risk Assessment and Conservation Biology, Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, BAS, 2 Gagarin Str., 1113, Sofia, Bulgaria
2 Nuclear Scientific Experimental Base, Institute for Nuclear Researches and Nuclear Energy, BAS, 72 Tzarigradsko Chaussee Blvd, 1784, Sofia, Bulgaria
3 Central Laboratory of Solar Energy and New Energy Sources, BAS, 72 Tzarigradsko Chaussee Blvd, 1784, Sofia, Bulgaria
4 National Museum of Natural History, BAS, 1 Tsar Osvoboditel Blvd, 1000, Sofia, Bulgaria

* Corresponding Author: Svetla P. Gateva. Email: email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Plant Ecophysiology: Recent Trends and Advancements)

Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany 2022, 91(2), 293-313.


Plants in natural ecosystems are exposed to a combination of UV radiation, ionizing radiation (IR) and other abiotic factors. These factors change with the altitude. We investigated DNA alterations of some wild plants of different plant families in natural ecosystems at three altitudes in Rila Mountain, Bulgaria (1500, 1782, and 2925 m above sea level (a.s.l.) exposed to UV radiation, IR and other abiotic stresses, to assess the tolerance of plant species to the changing environmental conditions in three successive growth seasons. For this purpose, physicochemical, cytogenetic, and molecular methods were applied. DNA damage was assessed by micronucleus test and molecular method comet assay adapted and applied by us to wild plant species from Onagraceae, Rosaceae, Boraginaceae, Saxifragaceae, Orobanchaceae, Asteraceae and Poaceae families, growing at three different altitudes. Variability in the DNA sensitivity and the level of tolerance was observed among the plant species in response to combined abiotic factors assessed by induced DNA damage and gross beta activity. The studied representatives of Poaceae were less susceptible than the other studied species at all three altitudes and showed close level of DNA injuries to that of unaffected control plant grown in laboratory conditions. The lower levels of DNA damage of these wild plant species corresponded to their lower ability to accumulate radionuclides. There was a particularly pronounced low level of DNA injuries in the plant species at the highest altitude. The level of DNA damage showed correlation with the values of some abiotic environmental factors. The results would contribute to the elucidation of the extent of adaptation of plant species to the continuously changing environment and would be useful in selecting sensitive herbaceous monitor species for environmental impact assessment at mountain and alpine sites.


Cite This Article

Gateva, S. P., Jovtchev, G., Angelova, T. V., Nonova, T. P., Tyutyundzhiev, N. et al. (2022). Effect of UV Radiation and Other Abiotic Stress Factors on DNA of Different Wild Plant Species Grown in Three Successive Seasons in Alpine and Subalpine Regions. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, 91(2), 293–313.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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