Biological Effects of Radiation: Mechanism and Measurement of Radiation, Applications in Biology, Photochemical Reactions, Effects of Radiant Energy on Organisms and Organic Products - Vol. 2

By Benjamin M. Duggar | Go to book overview

XXX
THE EFFECTS OF RADIUM RAYS ON PLANTS

A Brief Résumé of the More Important Papers from 1901to 1932

C. STUART GAGER

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

The discovery of X-rays by Röntgen in 1896 was followed in the same year by Becquerel's discovery that the various salts of uranium possess a hitherto unknown property of spontaneous radioactivity. After this discovery, M. and Mme. Curie, of Paris, began to examine different minerals containing uranium and found that of some 13 examined all gave off what were then called "Becquerel rays." The Curies concentrated their investigations on pitchblende, the most active of the uranium compounds studied, and in 1898 isolated polonium and proposed the new term, radioactive. Later in the same year appeared the epoch-making paper by the Curies and Bémont announcing the discovery of radium.

From that date to the present, there has persisted in physiological circles an unfortunate misunderstanding as to just what radioactivity is. Perhaps, therefore, it may not be amiss to state here that the element radium gives off three types of radiation which penetrate objects opaque to the rays of the solar spectrum. These are: the alpha rays (streams of particles bearing a positive electrical charge), beta rays (streams of electrons, bearing a negative charge), and gamma rays (a penetrating type of X-ray). In addition to these three types of rays, radium also gives off a chemically inert, radioactive gas. This is the emanation, more recently christened emanium. The atom of the emanation gives off only alpha rays.

It was about three years after the discovery of radium was announced before what is possibly the first paper appeared reporting experiments on the effect of radium rays on living organisms. This was a paper by Becquerel who reported in 1901 that an exposure of a week or more to radium rays destroyed the germinating power of seeds of cress and white mustard. Negative results followed an exposure of only 24 hr. The experiments were made in Becquerel's laboratory by Louis Matout.

Between Becquerel's pioneer paper and the year 1908, more than 100 papers were published reporting the results of investigations of the effects of radium rays on living plants. Most of these papers were cited and summarized by the writer in a memoir (25) on the Effects of the Rays of Radium on Plants. This memoir was referred to by Richards in

-987-

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Biological Effects of Radiation: Mechanism and Measurement of Radiation, Applications in Biology, Photochemical Reactions, Effects of Radiant Energy on Organisms and Organic Products - Vol. 2
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Xix Photoperiodism 677
  • Introduction 677
  • References 709
  • Xx Plant Growth in Continuous Illumination 715
  • References 725
  • Xxi the Effects of Light Intensity Upon Seed Plants 727
  • Introduction 727
  • References 757
  • Xxii Effects of Different Regions of the Visible Spectrum Upon Seed Plants 763
  • Introduction 763
  • Concluding Remarks 787
  • References 788
  • Xxiii Effect of the Visible Spectrum Upon the Germination of Seeds and Fruits 791
  • References 823
  • Xxiv the Effects of Visible and Ultra-Violet Radiation on the Histology of Plant Tissues 829
  • References 838
  • Xxv Some Infra-Red Effects on Green Plants 841
  • References 851
  • Xxvi the Effect of Ultra-Violet Radiation Upon Seed Plants 853
  • Introduction 853
  • Concluding Remarks 881
  • References 882
  • Xxvii the Effects of Radiation on Fungi 889
  • Introduction 889
  • References 910
  • Xxviii the Problem of Mitogenetic Rays 919
  • Introduction 919
  • Conclusions 944
  • References 946
  • Xxix Effects of X-Rays Upon Green Plants 961
  • Introduction 961
  • General Summary 980
  • References 983
  • Xxx the Effects of Radium Rays on Plants 987
  • References 1009
  • Xxxi the Light Factor in Photosynthesis 1015
  • References 1051
  • Xxxii the Influence of Radiation on Plant Respiration and Fermentation Charles J. Lyon 1059
  • Introduction 1059
  • Summary 1071
  • References 1072
  • Xxxiii Growth Movements in Relation to Radiation 1073
  • Xxxiv Chlorophyll and Chlorophyll Development in Relation to Radiation 1093
  • References 1104
  • Xxxv Radiation and Anthocyanin Pigments 1109
  • Introduction 1109
  • Conclusion 1116
  • References 1118
  • XXXVI - Effects of Radiation on Bacteria 1119
  • References 1141
  • Xxxvii the Effects of Radiation on Enzymes 1151
  • References 1160
  • Xxxviii Induced Chromosomal Aberrations in Animals 1167
  • Introduction 1167
  • References 1202
  • Xxxix Radiation and the Study of Mutation in Animals 1209
  • Introduction 1209
  • References 1252
  • Xl Induced Mutations in Plants 1263
  • Introduction 1263
  • References 1278
  • Xli Induced Chromosomal Alterations 1281
  • References 1293
  • Xlii Induced Chromosomal Alterations in Maize 1297
  • References 1308
  • Xliii Biological Aspects of the Quantum Theory of Radiation Absorptions in Tissues 1311
  • References 1326
  • Subject Index 1331
  • Alphabetical List of Contributors 1343
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