Romanian Journal of Biology - Plant Biology

Institute of Biology - Bucharest


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Volume 55, No. 2, 2010


1. Curcuma longa and curcumin: a review article

pp. 65 - 70   

M. Akram, Shahab-Uddin, Afzal Ahmed, Khan Usmanghani, Abdul Hannan, E. Mohiuddin, M. Asif

Turmeric is a spice derived from the rhizomes of Curcuma longa, which is a member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae). Rhizomes are horizontal underground stems that send out shoots as well as roots. The bright yellow color of turmeric comes mainly from fat-soluble, polyphenolic pigments known as curcuminoids. Curcumin, the principal curcuminoid found in turmeric, is generally considered its most active constituent. Other curcuminoids found in turmeric include demethoxycurcumin and bisdemethoxycurcumin. In addition to its use as a spice and pigment, turmeric has been used in India for medicinal purposes for centuries. More recently, evidence that curcumin may have anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities has renewed scientific interest in its potential to prevent and treat the disease.

2. Genetic diversity of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum  l.) growing near a high voltage transmission line

pp. 71 - 87   


The objective of this study was to determine the effects of an electromagnetic field on the genetic variability on winter wheat plants cultivated underneath high voltage transmission lines (50 Hz, 6 kV/m). The experiment with winter wheat plants was carried out near Kafr El-Dwar power station (Egypt). The effects were investigated on seed germination, pollen grain viability, RAPD profile and protein molecular weight distributions. The percentage of seed germination did not differ significantly between the exposed and unexposed plants. The results indicated that the plants exposed to the electromagnetic field showed a significant increase in the mean percentage of non viable pollen grains. DNA fingerprinting showed significant differences between DNA patterns of exposed and unexposed wheat plants. The UPGMA clustering analysis indicated high genetic distances between individuals under the high voltage transmission line (ranging from 0.33 to 0.84), compared to individuals from fields free from power towers which clustered together with low genetic distances (ranging from 0.10 to 0.29). The evaluation of genetic variability parameters (actual number of allele (na), effective number of alleles (ne), Nei’s gene diversity (h), Shannon’s information index (I), number of polymorphic loci and percentage of polymorphic loci) for all loci within each population confirmed the results obtained from the dendrogram. The total amount of soluble protein did not differ between the two groups. It was concluded that the genetic diversity of individuals of wheat plants grown under transmission lines increases, although seed germination and the amount of total soluble protein does not change.

3. Trampling effects on plant species morphology

pp. 89 - 96   


Morphogical response of plants to mechanical disturbance depends on morphological characteristics, phenological stage, degree of stem sclerification and also on trampling intensity. The experimental activities took place between 2007 and 2009 in forest and grassland ecosystems selected in three different long terms socio-ecological research (LTSER) sites from Romanian Network: Braila Islands, Neajlov Catchment and Bucegi- Piatra Craiului. In term of resistance to human trampling, analysed plant species were grouped in two categories: 1. intolerant species (e.g. Veratrum album) and 2. low, moderate or high tolerant species (e.g. Lotus corniculatus, Achillea stricta,Hypericum maculatum). The research was a part of a european project in Alternet (EU – Network of Excellence).

4. EMS induced genomic disorders in sesame (Sesamum indicum L.)

pp. 97 - 104   


The genotoxicity of EMS (Ethyl Methane Sulphonate) was evaluated at various parameters of sesame (Sesamum indicum L. var. IC413205). Seeds of sesame were treated with 0.5% solution of EMS for 3 durations, i.e. 3, 5, and 7 h. During the present investigation many chromosomal anomalies, namely precocious movements, stickiness, univalents, bridges, laggards, multivalents etc, were induced in inbred line of sesame. Higher frequencies of chromosomal anomalies were displayed at the maximum dose (7 h) of treatment. From the present study it can be concluded that the mutagenic effectiveness increased with the increase in the dose/treatment. This work investigates the effects of EMS on germination, plant height, seed yield and its correlation with meiotic behavior of Sesame in M1 generation. Although Sesame is not a model system for cytological studies, but we found that it is possible to conduct some significant cytogenetic studies on this species. Though some modifications in the standard methods for meiotic studies were necessary to obtain satisfactory results.

5. Comparative radiocytological effect of gamma rays and laser rays on safflower

pp. 105 - 111   


In the present study we investigated the comparative genotoxic potential of laser rays and gamma rays on somatic and gametic cells of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.). Mutagenic parameters like mitotic and meiotic consequences were accessed from the plants that showed a linear relationship between dose absorbed and chromosomal anomalies. A wide spectrum of chromosomal aberrations was encountered in both the laser and gamma ray irradiated set but the most frequent anomaly dominated was the stickiness of chromosomes. Some noble cytological mutants were also isolated like chain and multivalent formation at metaphase and cytoplasmic bridge formation at anaphase. The percentage of chromosomal aberrations observed in case of gamma rays treated set was higher than laser rays treated sets suggesting that gamma rays could be successfully employed for creating additional genetic variability in safflower.

6. Physical and Chemical mutagenesis in Jatropha curcas L. to induce variability in seed germination, growth and yield traits

pp. 113 - 125   

D. Dhakshanamoorthy, R. Selvaraj, A. Chidambaram

The studies of induced mutation in Jatropha curcas were performed by exposing the healthy and dry seeds to gamma rays viz., 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 Kr doses and ethyl methanesulphonate (EMS) viz., 1, 2, 3 and 4 %. The observations were made for seed germination percentage, growth and yield characters such as root length, shoot length, seedling length and vigour index, plant height, petiole length, days to first flowering, days taken for flowering to fruiting, days taken for fruiting to maturity, total number of flowers per inflorescence, number of fruit bunches per plant and number of fruits per bunch in the treated plants. Seeds treated with 5 Kr dose of gamma rays and 1 % EMS revealed a stimulatory effect while 25 Kr dose of gamma ray except seed germination and 4 % EMS treatment were showed a inhibitory effect for all the characters studied when compared to other treatments. Data obtained in this study were statistically significant at 5 % level. The results conclude that treatments of gamma rays were found to be greater compared to those of EMS treatments. Based on the variation in flowering and yield traits of gamma rays and EMS treated plants, superior strain will be screened by PCR-RAPD marker and published in the near future.

7. Pharmacognostical and preliminary phytochemical investigation of Lawsonia inermis L. leaf

pp. 127 - 133   


Micromorphological characters for Lawsonia inermis L. are not reported. The leaves are frequently used as a herbal remedy for an array of human disorders including wounds, ulcers, strangery, cough, bronchitis, lumbago, hemi crania, leucoderma, scabies, boil, hepatopathy, spleenopathy, ophthalmic conditions, falling of hairs and jaundice. The main constituents in the plant are carbohydrates, glycosides, tannins, phenolic compounds and gums and mucilage. It is characterized by the presence of distinct midrib from lamina, which is broadly shallow on adaxial side and convex on abaxial side. Mesophyll tissue is differentiated into palisade cells and spongy parenchyma. Vascular bundle is small and collateral but not prominent. It has a single layered polygonal epidermal cells containing cuticle on outer layer only. It also consists of unicellular covering trichome. Diacytic stomata are present on both the surface. The leaf is dorsiventral as oblong palisade cells are present below the upper epidermis and absent on lower epidermis. The abaxial epidermis is also very thin and distinct. The ground tissue of the midrib is parenchymatous and homogeneous. The cells are circular or angular and compact. Tannin is seen in some of the cells. The vascular strand is single, small, collateral and hemispherical in shape. It consists of a thick horizontal band of xylem and fairly wide band of phloem. Xylem elements are narrow, angular, thin walled and somewhat diffuse. Phytochemical investigation of leaf shows total ash (14.60 %), acid insoluble ash (4.50 %), and water soluble ash (3.0 %). Loss on drying is (4.5 %). Alcohol soluble extractive value and aqueous extractive value were (3.8 % w/w and 5.0 % w/w), respectively. The percent practical yields of alcohol and aqueous extract percent yield were found to be 12.34 % and 15.50 %. In alcoholic extract and aqueous extract carbohydrate, glycosides, tannins, phenolic compounds and gums and mucilage were present in good quantity and saponins, alkaloids, phytosterols, fixed oils, fats, proteins, amino acids, volatile oils were absent.

8. Antibacterial activity and phytochemical investigations on Nicotiana plumbaginifolia Viv. (wild tobacco)

pp. 135 - 142   

K.P.Singh, V. Daboriya, S. Kumar, S. Singh

Nicotiana plumbaginifolia Viv (Solanaceae: Solanales) is a annual or perennial weedy herb that is also known as wild tobacco. Leaves of N. plumbaginifolia Viv. were collected air dried and powdered. Aqueous and methanol extracts were prepared and observed their antibacterial activity on five human pathogenic bacteria. Viz Bacillus cereus, Bacillus fusiformis, Salmonella typhimurium Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa by paper disc diffusion method. The significant results were obtained by aqueous as well as methanolic extracts of leaves against all the tested bacteria. However, the aqueous extract showed strongest activity on Bacillus fusiformis and methanol leaf extract also showed strongest activity on Bacillus fusiformis .The leaves of N.plumbaginifolia were also evaluated for phytochemicals and were found to contain alkaloids, saponin, tannin, flavonoides, cardiac glycosides, phenolic compounds, steroids, terpenoides and carbohydrates.

9. Improved lysozyme method to obtain  cyanobacteria in axenic cultures

pp. 143 - 150   

I. Sarchizian, I.I. Ardelean

Isolation of cyanobacteria from natural environments is needed to obtain axenic cultures of cyanobacteria which can be mainly used for studies in fundamental and applicative researches. The aim of this study is to present the results concerning the purification from sulphurous mesothermal spring of cyanobacteria in axenic culture by an improved lysozyme method which uses a second antibiotic, tienam, added after organic nutrients.


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