Cytotoxic effect of naphthalene on root meristem of Allium cepa L.

Bhaskar Sarma*, Dipika Kapil, Bhaben Tanti


The cytotoxic effect of naphthalene was assessed in the root meristem of Allium cepa L. - a model plant for chromosomal study. The newly emerging roots were treated with 10%, 30%, 50%, 75% and 100% naphthalene solution (v/v). Each treatment was kept for 6, 12, 18, 24 and 48 hours respectively to study their cytotoxic effect. Naphthalene exerted depressive effects on mitosis, including reduced mitotic indices and accumulation of abnormal mitotic phases. The mitotic index showed decreasing tendency with parallel increase in naphthalene concentrations. Sticky metaphase, C- metaphase, diagonal metaphase, nuclear disintegration were found to be in higher frequency in all treatments. Both duration and concentration of the treatment influenced the cell division.


Naphthalene; Allium cepa L.; chromosomal aberrations; mitotic index

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