SREL Reprint #0091




Interactions of Gamma Radiation and Other Environmental Stresses Upon Pine Seeds and Seedlings

J. Frank McCormick and Robert E. McJunkin



This is a pilot study to determine the effects of ionizing radiation upon slash (Pinus elliottii) and longleaf (Pinus palustris) pine seeds and seedlings, and to identify environmental factors which modify species radiation sensitivities.  Seeds and seedlings were exposed to several radiation doses and then grown in a variety of post-irradiation environments, some of which included high temperature, low moisture and low light.  Per cent germination, growth, physiological tolerances, and survival usually varied inversely with the radiation dose received.  Germination rates, drought tolerances, and growth under low light intensities were increased by doses in the range of 100-500 R.  Slash seeds were more sensitive than longleaf seeds but the order of seedling sensitivity was reversed.  Results of this study indicate that the condition of the organism and the nature of the environment prior to and following irradiation must be rigorously defined in order to evaluate radiation effects.


SREL Reprint #0091

McCormick, J.F. and R.E. McJunkin. 1965. Interactions of gamma radiation and other environmental stresses upon pine seeds and seedlings. Health Physics 11:1643-1652

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