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The magnetic field (MF) interacts with biological systems and has the potential to increase germination, plant growth and productivity. Although it is known as a low cost and promising approach, the mechanism that increases growth is not fully understood yet. In this study, the effect of different MF strengths (20, 42, 125, and 250 mT) was investigated on barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). In addition to phenological parameters, possible cell damage, electron transport rate, chlorophyll fluorescence, magnetic character and elemental status of tissues were determined. Results showed that lower strengths (≤125 mT) of MF treatment improve germination. Confocal microscopy analyzes revealed MF-induced cell membrane damage in roots that could alter the elemental content of tissues. Elemental analyzes found that the content of macroelements (Ca, Mg, P, and K) are gradually reduced with increasing MF forces; in opposite the microelement contents (Fe, B, Cu, Mn, Zn, and Mo) are increased in roots. Diamagnetism is the dominant magnetic character in all root and leaf samples. However, the roots became surprisingly superparamagnetic in 250 mT application. It seems that MF treatment at higher strength (250 mT in this study) could influence the orientation of magnetic moments. These findings suggest that MF application: i) can alter the magnetic character of plants, ii) enhances the germination, photosynthetic machinery, and growth, and iii) affects the nutrient uptake and abundance in tissues, depending on the MF strength. This comprehensive study can help in understanding the interaction of magnetic field with plants. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Ismail Ercan, Huseyin Tombuloglu, Noha Alqahtani, Bayan Alotaibi, Muruj Bamhrez, Raghdah Alshumrani, Sezen Ozcelik, Tarek Said Kayed. Magnetic field effects on the magnetic properties, germination, chlorophyll fluorescence, and nutrient content of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB. 2022 Jan 01;170:36-48

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PMID: 34844116

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