Inhibition and recovery of growth processes in roots of pisum sativum L. Exposed to 60‐Hz electric fields

Dominique Robertson, Morton W. Miller, Christopher Cox, Henry T. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Roots of Pisum sativum L. were chronically exposed in aqueous inorganic nutrient medium to 60‐Hz electric fields between 140 and 490 V/m (growth medium conductivity ∼ 0.08 S/m). The growth rate, meristematic mitotic index, and growth rate recovery of the roots were determined. At 140 V/m there was no perturbation in growth rate or mitotic index. At 430 V/m the growth rate and the mitotic index were reduced. The mitotic index had a maximum depression (∼ 55% of control), which occurred at 4 h. The depression in growth rate was immediate and constant over time. When roots were exposed to an electric field at 430 V/m for 2 days, the growth rate was depressed by about 40%. When the field was terminated, the growth rate steadily increased and was almost normal after 5 days. At 490 V/m root growth rate was almost completely arrested. According to these results, there is a narrow range of induced membrane potentials that span the range from slightly altered to almost completely arrested growth rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-340
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


  • 60 Hz
  • Pisum sativum
  • biologic effects
  • electric fields
  • membrane potentials
  • recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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