Department of comprehensive Ecosystem Research

Studying parameters of radionuclide migration in a food chain

The main scientific line of the department is the study of features of radionuclides redistribution in components of natural environments:

  • Research into radionuclides distribution in particle-size fractions of soil.
  • Research into speciation (mobility) of radionuclides in soil.
  • Determination of physical and chemical properties.
  • Research into features of spacial and vertical man-made radionuclides migration in a soil and plant cover.
  • Experimental assessment of radionuclide entry into animal products when produced in a radioactively contaminated territory.
  • Experimental assessment of radionuclides transfer to crop products when produced in a radioactively contaminated territory and study of factors affecting the process.

Types of physical and chemical soil analysis:

  • determination of the content of organic substance;
  • determination of particle-size and microaggregate composition;
  • determination of the content of exchangeable cations and water-soluble salts;
  • determination of moisture;
  • determination of acidity (рН).

Assessment of environmental factors affecting man and wildlife

This line includes the following types of activities:

  • Morphoanatomical plant research;
  • Cytogenetic plant research;
  • Cytogenetic animal marrow research;
  • Cytogenetic peripheral human and animal blood research;
  • Dose reconstruction by biodosimetry techniques

3 techniques of cytogenetic dosimetry were mastered as recommended by IAEA – dicentric analysis, cytokinesis-block micronucleus test and a fluorescent in situ hybridization technique. To perform work in this area, there is an up-to-date equipment including automated cytogenetic system based on a Carl Zeizz electronic microscope (with different modifications: AxioImager N2 (2012), AxioImager Z2 (2016), Germany), a MSearch metaphase automatic search system for 8 specimens, Metafer 4, Ikaros, Isis software (MetaSystems, USA).

The equipment enhances the quality and reproducibility of findings, reduces statistical uncertainty at low doses and it is an efficient tool for optimizing both routine karyotyping procedures and a subtle analysis using CBMN, FISH, M-FISH techniques. Thanks to image digitization the total analysis timing is reduced several times which is important in cases of prompt response to radiation emergencies involving a large number of people.