SUMMARY. The paper discusses different methodological approaches to the study of transgenerational alterations of metabolic pathways in soybean and flax seeds in the process of adaptation to chronic irradiation in the Chernobyl alienation zone. A combination of general biological methods and novel approaches, such as genomics, proteomics, cytogenetics, and mutagenesis, allows researchers to analyze an organism’s systemic response and identify the latent chronic irradiation effects in plants from the Chernobyl zone. The proteomic approaches are especially efficient, since they range from the identification of changes in abundance and folding of individual proteins to the characterization of posttranslational modifications, trends of qualitative changes during seed maturation, or protein-protein interactions during plant growth and development under permanent impacts of stress factors. The application of proteomics opens new horizons in the understanding of the hidden mechanisms behind the impact of chronic low-dose radiation on living cells and makes it possible to visualize metabolic network alterations regardless of their transcriptional, translational, or epigenetic nature.
Keywords: Chernobyl alienation zone, chronic exposure, radionuclides, proteomics, genomics, plant adaptation