Nonthermal microwave radiations affect the hypersensitive response of tobacco to tobacco mosaic virus

Lucietta Betti, Grazia Trebbi, Lisa Lazzarato, Maurizio Brizzi, Gian Lorenzo Calzoni, Fiorenzo Marinelli, Daniele Nani, Francesco Borghini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of nonthermal extremely high-frequency microwave radiations in a plant-based bioassay, represented by tobacco plants reacting to tobacco mosaic virus with a hypersensitive response leading to the appearance of necrotic lesions at the infection sites. Design: This study was performed blind and different experimental protocols on tobacco plants inoculated with tobacco mosaic virus were used. Bio-objects: Tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum L. cultivar Samsun) carrying the resistance gene N against tobacco mosaic virus. Interventions: Tobacco plants or leaf disks were either directly or indirectly (water-mediated) irradiated using a medical device, designed for microwave resonance therapy. It produces nonthermal weak-intensity extremely high-frequency radiations, either modulated at extremely low frequency or in continuous flux of waves, coupled with a nonthermal red/near-infrared radiation. Outcome measurements: The working variable was the number of hypersensitive lesions per leaf disk. Results: Both direct and indirect nonthermal microwave radiations led to significant effects on the hypersensitive response of tobacco plants: modulated radiations generally induced a resistance increase, whereas a continuous flux of waves induced a resistance decrease with direct treatments only. Conclusions: Nonthermal microwave radiations are effective on the hypersensitive response of tobacco to tobacco mosaic virus and their low-frequency modulation seems to be more bioactive than the continuous-flux of waves, particularly in the indirect water-mediated treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947-957
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Nursing(all)


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