The Globe is marching towards the development of the telecommunication field which leads to increment of non-ionizing radiation in the environment which affects all living beings including plants grown nearby to communication base stations. The present research was focused on physiological and biochemical alterations of tomato plants exposed to high-frequency radiation. The overall plant health was analyzed by physiological changes viz., plant height, size of leaves, length to the root system, and rate of germination upon exposure of radiation and shown significant reduction (p < 0.05) compared to control. Consecutively, radiation also negatively affects the photosynthetic pigment content of leaves which has shown significant reduction.
Yet another confirmation of stress on exposed plant tissue was reported by obtaining higher H2O2 content within exposed plant leaf than the control. The morphological alterations viz. curling of leaves, discoloration, and size reduction became more prominent with an increase in the exposure time. The significant outcomes denoted according to 95% confidence limit. There was a significant decline in total phenolic content (37.06%), flavonoid content (71.38%), Vitamin C content (72.45%), and DPPH (59.32%) as well as total antioxidant assays (71.89%) which revealed significant deteriorative effects on such waves on secondary metabolites and the antioxidant potential of tomato plants. The lycopene content was continuously increasing up to 73.13% upon radiation of 120 h and such raise was the direct indication of harmful effect on fruit skin and release of lycopene due to softening of the fruit tissue. Thus, the presented findings illustrated the negative effects of such waves on the quality of tomato plants.
The limited insight of metabolic pathways involved in plant responses to such non-ionizing radiation makes such investigation worth in agricultural application. Additionally, mobile communication agencies should be informed and installation of base stations for mobile communication towers should be prohibited at agricultural lands.