how do gamma rays stop fruits from sprouting and ripening? Is there a physically observable change that happens when the rays take away a seed or fruit’s ability to grow into a plant?

175 views

[ad_1]

how do gamma rays stop fruits from sprouting and ripening? Is there a physically observable change that happens when the rays take away a seed or fruit’s ability to grow into a plant?

In: Biology
[ad_2]

Gamma rays destroy DNA so all growth would stop.

It’s used to sterilize stuff and it won’t make it radioactive. The exception is if you’re named Bruce Banner…

Gamma rays are something called ionizing radiation.

That means, that when it hits an atom, it has enough energy to send that atom’s electrons flying off. And, when that happens, whatever molecule that atom was a part of tends to get damaged.

And, if the damaged molecule is something important, like DNA, then the cell has to deal with the damage. If it’s a protein, the cell needs to make more protein. If it’s DNA, the cell needs to try to fix its DNA. And, if the cell is unlucky enough, and can’t fix the damage, it dies.

And, if that happens to enough of the cells in a plant, the plant itself dies.

But, conveniently, since gamma rays are just (essentially) a very uncommon form of light, the food isn’t really altered in a way that humans would care about. The gamma ray source stays in the irradiating plant, and enough of the plant’s molecules are intact that the plant is still nutritious. And, the gamma rays kill bacteria too, meaning the food is safer.