The Effects of Radiation on Plants

Plants don't have to worry much about radiation.
••• Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images

Plants do not have to worry much about radiation. Experiments have been conducted that show that radiation is really only a problem when a plant is in the stage of a seed. Still, large amounts of radiation can destroy any material, including plant material.


High doses of radiation can damage seeds.
••• plusphoto/iStock/Getty Images

High doses of radiation can cause seeds to not sprout, grow slowly, lose fertility or develop genetic mutations that can change characteristics of the plant.


The right amounts of radiation can kill microorganisms on seeds.
••• coramueller/iStock/Getty Images

The right amounts of radiation can kill microorganisms on seeds, protecting them from dangerous diseases early on.

Dormant vs. Germinated

Plants that germinate before radiation exposure are less likely to develop defects.
••• Focal.Point/iStock/Getty Images

An experiment conducted by the San Antonio Community Hospital found that plants that have already germinated before radiation exposure are less likely to develop defects than plants that are dormant.

Molecule Damage

All molecules can be damaged by radiation.
••• Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images

All molecules, from water to animal and plant material, can be damaged by radiation, as it disrupts the normal flow of electrons surrounding an atom.


Plants can protect themselves from most radiation.
••• Dmitro Tolokonov/iStock/Getty Images

Plants contain chemicals that protect them from most radiation, since they are exposed to a large amount of radiation when basking in sunlight.

Related Articles

The Difference Between Seeds and Spores
Three Main Parts of a Seed
Reproduction of Plant Cells
Plants Containing Nicotine
What Will Happen If You Are Exposed to Mushroom Spores?
The Effects of Drought on Deserts
Nuclear Radiation Effects on Plants
What Parts of a Flower Are Involved in Reproduction?
Toxicity of Mimosa Tree
The Greenhouse Effect & Photosynthesis
Advantage & Disadvantage of Nuclear Energy
What Is the Difference Between a Spore & a Pollen Grain?
Why Are Plant Hybrids Sterile?
Natural Sources of Gibberellic Acid Extraction
What Are Some Risks When Splitting an Atom?
What Is a Scientist Who Studies Plants Called?
How Do Plants With Spores Reproduce?
Types of Man-Made Pollutants
What Is a Plant Embryo?