Saraswati Sainia, Rajneet Kour Soodana & Avinash Nagpala*
*aDepartment of Botanical and Environmental Sciences
Guru Nanak Dev University , Amritsar-143005, Punjab, India.
Received 30th September,2012; Revised 15th November,2012
Abstract : In recent years, the environmental contamination with lead has strongly increased due to its widespread utilization in the manufacture of a large number of products like ammunition, metal bearings, castings, pipes, batteries, toys, gasoline, cosmetics etc. Exposure to lead results in chronic toxicity manifestations such as hypertension, kidney impairment, cognitive disturbances and even death. In order to identify the harmful effects of such toxic substances, a variety of test systems are commonly used to determine their genotoxic potential. Plant bioassays, because of their simplicity, affordability and versatility have been used to detect the genotoxicity of environmental mutagens. Taking this into consideration, the present study was aimed to evaluate the genotoxic potential of lead acetate in root tip cell (RTCs) of Allium cepa. Treatment of Allium cepa roots with different concentrations of lead acetate resulted in a dose dependent inhibition of root growth, decrease in mitotic index and induction of different types of chromosomal aberrations like C-mitosis, stickiness, delayed anaphases, vagrant chromosomes, chromatin bridges and chromosomal breaks in root tip cells. The frequency of root tip cells with different kinds of aberrations ranged from 3.77% for 0.2 ppm and 32.88% for 1.0 ppm lead.
Keywords: Lead, Allium cepa, Genotoxicity, Chromosomal aberrations.