ISSN 1021-4437, Russian Journal of Plant Physiology, 2017, Vol. 64, No. 3, pp. 431–437. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2017.
Original Russian Text © G.V. Novitskaya, D.R. Molokanov, M.V. Dobrovol’skii, Yu.A. Serdyukov, Yu.I. Novitskii, 2017, published in Fiziologiya Rastenii, 2017, Vol. 64, No. 3,
Effect of Alternating Magnetic Field on Ontogenesis
and Morphophysiological Characteristics of Radish Plants
of Different Magnetic Orientation
G. V. Novitskaya*, D. R. Molokanov, M. V. Dobrovol’skii, Yu. A. Serdyukov, and Yu. I. Novitskii
Timiryazev Institute of Plant Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 127276 Russia
Received March 3, 2016
Abstract—Effect of weak horizontal alternating magnetic field (AMF) with a frequency of 50 Hz and intensity
of 400 A/m on seed formation and morphophysiological characteristics was investigated in radish (Raphanus
sativus L.) plants of major types of magnetic orientation (TMO): North–South (NS) and West–East (WE).
AMF retarded the passage through all the stages of ontogenesis; as compared with control material, the next
leaves emerged slower, and the transition to formation of flower-bearing stems, budding, flowering, and pro-
duction of pods and mature seeds was delayed. In plants of NS TMO exposed to AMP, the number of pods
and seeds and the weight of seeds decreased, while these characteristics rose in WE TMO. AMF acted as an
environmental factor differentiating plants’ response depending on their type of magnetic orientation. Dis-
similar response to the magnetic field is associated with their physiological status.
Keywords: Raphanus sativus, plants of different magnetic orientation, alternating magnetic field, ontogenesis,
seeds, morphophysiological characteristics
Alternating magnetic fields (AMF) are an integral
part of the anthropogenic environment. AMF of 50 Hz
is a common type of low-frequency electromagnetic
field widely occurring in cities, industrial territories,
and agricultural areas.
Electromagnetic fields of extremely low frequen-
cies (including 50 Hz) are also characteristic of the
natural electromagnetic field of the Earth (GMF)
[1–3]; however, their intensities are several orders of
magnitude lower than the strength of artificially gen-
erated f luxes .
Influence of AMF and its after-effects on human
beings and animals were dealt with in numerous arti-
cles and reviews .
Effect of low-frequency magnetic field on plants is
poorly investigated. Available papers describe practi-
cal applications of the alternating field. For instance,
Aksenov et al.  found that 50 Hz AMF stimulated
imbibition of wheat seeds and caused elongation of the
seedlings. Likholat et al.  reported that 30–35 Hz
AMF improved germinating power of pea, sunflower,
and wheat seeds imbibing in water. Sirotina et al. 
observed a more activate formation of lateral roots in
millet whose seeds were exposed to a weak pulsating
field of 50 Hz and intensity of approximately 8 A/m.
Presowing treatment with alternating magnetic field
accelerated germination of wheat seeds  and root
development in grape grafts .
Up to now, the mechanisms of magnetic field
action remain obscure. There exist approximately
50 hypotheses concerning the mechanism of magnetic
field action. Some of them are described in the works by
Galland and Pazur, Novitskii et al., and Bingi [10–12].
Magnetic field affects the operation of membrane
apparatus of the cell modifying the composition and
content of polar and neutral lipids  and altering
their ratio via the processes of lipid peroxidation (and
free radical steps) to malonic dialdehyde that is an end
product of peroxidation [14, 15].
One should also mention a mechanism associated
with the presence in certain microorganisms of mag-
netic inclusions (magnetosomes) consisting of iron
and its oxides as ferromagnetics . Microwave or
low-frequency electromagnetic background can also
influence physiological or biochemical effect of a
magnetic field on plants or other objects probably by
the principle of resonant energy pumping [17, 18]. It
Abbreviations: AMF—alternating magnetic field; EMF—elec-
tromagnetic field; GL—glycolipids; GMF—geomagnetic field;
MF—magnetic field; MGDG—monogalactosyl diacylglycer-
ols; NS TMO—North–South type of magnetic orientation;
PC—phosphatidyl cholines; PE—phosphatidyl ethanolamines;
PG—phosphatidyl glycerols; PhL—phospholipids; PI—phos-
phatidyl inositols; PL—polar lipids; PMF—permanent mag-
netic field; WE TMO—West–East type of magnetic orientation.