The impact analysis of low doses of ionizing radiation on the breathers in natural populations is an important part of radiobiological studies of non-human biota. The main aim of our studies was to investigate some cytogenetic, morphological and reproductive rates of the common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex. Steud.) from different water bodies within the Chernobyl accident exclusion zone. The absorbed dose rate for littoral emergent plants in sampling water bodies was varied from 1.3E−02 to 1.6E−01 Gy/h. The rate and main types of chromosome aberrations in roots meristems, morphological damages in seed germs, as well as rates of germinating ability and power were analyzed. There were registered rather low rate of germinating ability (14–48%) and germinating power (<1) of seeds from all sampling water bodies with high levels of radioactive contamination in comparison to control ones. Against the general suppressed background the effect of relative stimulation of more affected seeds was observed. With increase of absorbed dose in range of 1.3E−02–1.6E−01 Gy/h the number of germinated seeds was increased. At the same time the number of morphological damages of seeds was increased as well. There was determined the positive correlation between absorbed dose rate and chromosome aberration rate in roots of the common reed from sampling water bodies. The highest rate of chromosome aberrations (up to 17%) were registered in plants with high level of morphological deviations in seeds germs. The data obtained from the complex analysis of natural populations of the common reed from the radioactive contaminated water bodies testify about rather high level of genetic efficiency of low doses of long-term exposure.

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