Testing For Analogous Effects of Radiotropism in Local Yeasts
Matthew Cao
Burnaby North Secondary
Floor Location : S 008 D

Previous research has shown a complex interaction between microbial fungi and low-dose ionizing radiation. To analyse this interaction, I compared the growth of yeasts under standard conditions to the growth of those that were radiation-blocked. These yeasts under standard conditions would be exposed to the natural background radiation, which is sufficient to account as low-dose ionizing radiation. Then, I analysed the data sets that were generated using MATLAB, which displayed quantitative cell growth of the yeasts over time through time-lapsed images, which would then be graphed to observe its trend. Through this mathematical modelling, important insights were provided to explain the micro-fungal responses to ionizing radiation in the form of growth. This leads to the conclusion that ionizing radiation plays an important role in the growth regulation of the local yeast, and may help to explain the observed "radiotropic" abilities in microbes at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which seemingly contains a high dosage of background radiation. Increased growth in irradiated fungi may also suggest a possibility that the ionizing radiation may be exploited by fungi as an energy source, similar to how sunlight is used as an energy source in plants. Overall, the analysis shows a trend of increased growth with the presence of ionizing radiation.