The Effects of A Weak Permanent Magnetic Field on the Lipid Composition and Content in the Onion Leaves of Various Ages

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We have studied the effects of a weak permanent magnetic field (PMF) with strength of 403 A/m on the composition and content of polar and neutral lipids and the composition of their fatty acids (FAs). The lipids were isolated from the third, fourth, and fifth leaves of onion (Allium cepa L., cv. Arzamasskii) plants, and their composition was determined using TLC and GLC techniques. Plants growth under the conditions of a natural geomagnetic field served as a control. Most intense changes in the lipid content induced by PMF were observed in the fourth onion leaf. The content of total lipids and that of polar lipids (glyco-and phospholipids) changed, whereas the content of neutral lipids either decreased or remained unchanged. The phospholipid/sterol ratio increased, causing an increase in the fluidity of the membrane lipid bilayer. PMF induced an increase in the concentration of linolenic acid and the relative content of total unsaturated FAs. The effects of PMF on the content and composition of lipids in the third and fifth onion leaves were less pronounced, demonstrating differences between the leaves of various ages in their sensitivity to the effects of magnetic field. It is concluded that changes in the weak PMF within the limits of changes in the strength of geomagnetic field in the course of evolution can affect biochemical and physiological processes of plants.

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