Thirty years after Chernobyl accident: Evaluation of consequences by biologists and medical scientists
Thirty years after the Chernobyl explosion we still lack information regarding the genetic effects of radionuclide contamination on the plant population. For example, are plants adapting to the low dose of chronic ionising irradiation and showing improved resistance to radiation damage? Are they coping with changing/increased pathogenicity of fungi and viruses in the Chernobyl exclusion (ChE) zone? Are plant populations rapidly accumulating mutational load and should we expect rapid micro-evolutionary changes in plants in the Chernobyl area? This review will try to summarise the current knowledge on these aspects of plant genetics and ecology and draw conclusions on the importance of further studies in the area around Chernobyl.