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Mutagenic Potential and Nutritive Quality of Turnip Plants Raised over Chromium Amended Soils

Author(s): A. Gill | M.I.S. Saggoo

Journal: International Journal of Botany
ISSN 1811-9700

Volume: 6;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 127;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: chromium | ames assay | turnip | Mutagenicity | biochemical estimates

Use of waste water for irrigation has lead to an increase in the chromium content of agricultural soils in many areas and the plants grown over these soils are known to accumulate this heavy metal in their parts, thus paving way for its entry into the food chain. The present study aims at assessment of mutagenicity of turnip plants raised over soils amended with chromium as well as to study the effect of this heavy metal in soil on various biochemical constituents of this important food crop. Turnip plants were raised from seeds in pots filled with soils amended with chromium. Potassium dichromate was used as the source of chromium and final concentrations taken in pots were 1, 10, 50 and 100 μgCr g-1 dry weight of the soil. The plants were uprooted on reaching edible stage and evaluated for their food quality. The chromium uptake by plants were found to increase with the chromium added to the soil and this was observed to have an adverse effect on the vitamin A, C and fibre content, the content of total soluble proteins and the carbohydrates was however, observed to be higher in roots of plants from chromium amended soils as compared to the control plants. The mutagenic potential of the water extracts of roots of turnip plants was tested using Ames assay on TA98 and TA100 strains of Salmonella typhimurium (Loeffler, 1892) with some modifications. The number of revertant colonies formed in spots containing test extracts bore a direct relationship with the chromium in the soil as well as that accumulated by the plants. The present study thus showed that the turnip plants harvested from chromium rich soils showed a decrease in the contents of vitamins and fibre and there is also possibility of such crops being mutagenic to the consumer.
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