Chronic radiation exposure as an ecological factor: Hypermethylation and genetic differentiation in irradiated Scots pine populations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Institutes & Expert groups

  • VITO - Flemish Institute for Technological Research
  • RIARAE - Russian Institute of Agricultural Radiology and Agroecology
  • PSRER - Polesie State RadioEcological Reserve

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Genetic and epigenetic changes were investigated in chronically irradiated Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) populations from territories that were heavily contaminated by radionuclides as result of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident. In comparison to the reference site, the genetic diversity revealed by electrophoretic mobility of AFLPs was found to be significantly higher at the radioactively contaminated areas. In addition, the genome of pine trees was significantly hypermethylated at 4 of the 7 affected sites.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105e112
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Chernobyl accident, Conifers, Genetic diversity, Genome-wide methylation, Radiation exposure

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