Effects of historic radiation dose on the frequency of sex-linked recessive lethals in Drosophila populations following the Chernobyl nuclear accident
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Contrary to the effects of high doses of radiation, the effects of low doses of radiation are still being investigated. Low doses and their non-targeted effects in particular are of special interest for researchers. The accident that occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) gives researchers the opportunity to view these effects outside of a laboratory environment. For this paper, the relationship between low historic radiation doses and the persistent genetic damage observed in populations of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) around the Chernobyl NPP over 3 years will be investigated. Data from Zainullin et al. (1992) on the frequency of sex-linked recessive lethals (SLRLs) in D. melanogaster around the Chernobyl NPP. To calculate the absorbed historic external dose, a method based on the Gaussian plume model was used to find the external dose from both plume shine and ground shine. The dose attributed to the ground shine dose made a greater contribution to the overall absorbed external historic radiation dose than the plume shine dose. For earlier generations of Drosophila living in the radioactive contaminated sites, the SLRL frequencies appeared to correlate with the dose in a linear no-threshold relationship. The later descendent generations appeared to have developed a radio-adaptive-like response. This work contributes to the understanding of historic dose effects on wildlife health following the accidental release of high mount of radioactive materials into the environment.
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