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  Eur.J.Hortic.Sci. 81 (6) 303-309 | DOI: 10.17660/eJHS.2016/81.6.3
ISSN 1611-4426 print and 1611-4434 online | © ISHS 2016 | European Journal of Horticultural Science | Original article

Oxidative stress and DNA damage induced by gamma irradiation in Korean lawngrass (Zoysia japonica Steud.)

Hyo-Jeong Lee1,†, Ye-Sol Kim2,†, Yeong Deuk Jo2, Bo-Keun Ha3, Dong Sub Kim2, Jin-Baek Kim2, Si-Yong Kang2 and Sang Hoon Kim2
1Crop Breeding Division, National Institute of Crop Science, RDA, Wanju 55365, Korea
2Advanced Radiation Technology Institute, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Jeongeup 56212, Korea
3Division of Plant Biotechnology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea
†These authors contributed equally to this work.

Korean lawngrass is a widely-used turfgrass species. In this study, we determined the effects of gamma irradiation on growth characteristics and cellular damages in this species. Seeds were irradiated with 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1,000 Gy of gamma rays, respectively. To evaluate growth characteristics, germination rate and morphological traits (shoot length and width, root length, fresh weight, leaf blade length and width, sheath length, plant width, and number of tillers) were measured. We also examined the activities of the antioxidant enzymes including ascorbate peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, and peroxidase and the content of malondialdehyde. The germination rate decreased with an increase of gamma-ray dose, and seeds irradiated with doses higher than 600 Gy did not germinate at all. The 50% lethal dose (LD50) for gamma irradiation was 280-300 Gy. We also conducted a comet assay to observe nuclear DNA damage in the germinated plants. Significant differences were identified between the control and 400 Gy treatments. Increasing gamma-ray doses from 0 to 400 Gy, the percentage of head DNA decreased significantly from 93.9% to 67.0%. In addition, the antioxidant enzyme activities and the content of MDA increased with the gamma-ray doses. These results showed that higher doses of gamma irradiation caused the greater oxidative stress and DNA damage in Korean lawngrass.

Keywords gamma-ray, antioxidant enzyme, comet assay

Significance of this study

What is already known on this subject?

  • According to heat tolerance and winter hardiness, Korean lawngrass is one of the important ground cover plants in Asia, USA, and other countries. Gamma ray have been used to induce mutants with various trait in plants. However, gamma ray also induce oxidative stress with the overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS), superoxide radicals (O2-), hydroxyl radicals (•OH), and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Furthermore, comet assay detected DNA damage on nucleus.
What are the new findings?
  • Germination rate and morphological traits according to plant development reduced with increasing dose of gamma ray. Thus, DNA damage of irradiation was detected at increasing dose rates with 100 Gy and higher. Significant difference was not found in activities of oxidative stress related enzymes between gamma-irradiation dose rate. But MDA content increased with the gamma-ray doses. Thus, higher doses of gamma irradiation induced the oxidative stresses and DNA damages in Korean lawngrass.
What is the expected impact on horticulture?
  • According to these results, gamma rays affected morphological traits, lipid peroxidation, and DNA damage in Korean lawngrass. These results will help further research of mutation breeding using irradiation and provide a guidance of selection of dose and dose rate for induction of various traits.

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Received: 15 April 2016 | Accepted: 28 October 2016 | Published: 23 December 2016 | Available online: 23 December 2016

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