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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

The effects of different concentrations of eleven different metals (aluminum chloride, chromium nitrate and potassium dichromate, lead nitrate, copper sulfate, manganous sulfate, cobaltous nitrate, zinc sulfate, magnesium sulfate, nickel sulfate, cadmium chloride, and mercuric chloride) on cell division and nucleoli in root tip cells of Allium cepa were studied. The results showed that the metal ions could, in varying degrees, cause chromosome, nucleus, and nucleolus irregularities, including c-mitosis, chromosome bridges, chromosome stickiness, irregularly shaped nuclei, micronuclei, irregularly shaped nucleoli, some silver-stained material scattered in the nucleus, the weakening of silver-staining reaction at the periphery of the nucleolus, and the release of nucleolar material from the nucleus into the cytoplasm. The Allium test may be useful for the rapid screening of chemicals involved in environmental problems.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Tianjin Normal University ; 2: Xinhua High School


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