microwave induced mutation breeding

Title: Microwave induced mutation breeding technique for crop.

Author: Jiang, Yijun.

Authors affiliation: (Peop. Rep. China).

Published in: Faming Zhuanli Shenqing Gongkai Shuomingshu (2005), 3 pp.

Patent Family Information

Patent No. Kind Date Application No. Date

CN 1579146 A 20050216 CN 2003-140115 20030811

Abstract: “The title technique comprises irradiating wet seed, sprouting seed, flower bud and growing point of crop for a certain time by 2,400-2,500 MHz microwave with center wavelength of 122 mm (preferably 2,450 MHz microwave), inducing mutation of some specific DNA fragments of crop cell to obtain crop mutants. By multi-generation breeding and directional selection of individual mutant, new stable crop species with target character is bred. Compared with laser and Co60 induced mutation and space mutation, the invention has the advantages of good directionality, low cost, simple and safe operation, and high breeding efficiency.”

Interesting and makes we want to ask two things:

  1. Does this mean we can throw our seeds in the microwave oven and get mutations? (or are the microwave wavelengths they are talking about differ in MHz from our ovens?)

“In a microwave oven, food is cooked by exposing it to microwave radiation. Most household microwave ovens operate on a frequency of 2450 megahertz (MHz or million cycles per second) in a continuous wave (cw) mode. Larger ovens used for industrial applications sometimes operate at 915 MHz.”

  1. Are we potentially picking up mutations by standing in front of the microwave?
  • from same site:

"Why do people worry about microwave radiation?

Microwave ovens are used daily in restaurants, cafeterias, lounges, kitchens, snack bars, and homes. Microwave oven users are often concerned about potential health hazards from the exposure to microwave radiation leakage. With the latest technological advances in door seal design and with proper maintenance, microwave oven leakage has been greatly minimized or eliminated."