Morphophysiological and biochemical alterations in Ricinus communis L. seeds submitted to cobalt60 gamma radiation

ABSTRACT This study aimed to evaluate the radiosensitivity of castor bean seeds after applications of different doses of Cobalt60 gamma radiation. Seeds were pre-soaked for 24 hours in distilled water and then irradiated with 50, 100, 150, and 200 Gy, except the control. Sowing was performed in trays, which contained soil as substrate and were maintained in a greenhouse. The electrical conductivity, emergence, emergence speed index, growth parameters and activities of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, and catalase) were evaluated in the leaves and roots of castor bean seedlings. Gamma radiation did not affect the electrical conductivity of the seeds; however, at a dose of 200 Gy, the emergence and emergence speed index of the seedlings was negatively affected. An analysis of the morphophysiological parameters revealed a reduction in seedling size as the radiation dose increased. There was a significant increase in superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase activities at higher radiation doses in the leaves, but not in roots. Thus, the analysis of all the variables suggests a response pattern as to the morphophysiological and biochemical changes of castor bean seedlings due to the increase of gamma radiation, which may serve as a tool for generating greater genetic variability.