Romanian Journal of Biology - Plant Biology

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Volume 58, No. 1, 2013


1. Isolation of genomic DNA from five species of Euphorbiaceae without liquid nitrogen

pp. 3 - 8  


The isolation of intact, high-molecular mass genomic DNA is essential for many molecular biology applications including PCR, endonuclease digestion, southern blot analysis, and genomic library construction. Many protocols are available for the extraction of genomic DNA from plant tissue, and all the protocols have used expensive and hazardous chemical-liquid nitrogen for grinding plant material or DNA isolation kits for extraction. In the present study a modified CTAB (Cetyl trimethyl ammonium bromide) method has been used for isolation of genomic DNA from the leaves of five species of Euphorbiaceae viz., Ricinus communis, Excoecaria robusta, Hevea brasiliensis, Jatropha multifida and Jatropha curcas. Key step in the modified CTAB method is the use of alcohol for submerging leaf tissue instead of grinding it in liquid nitrogen. The protocol described (alcohol fixation) has yielded genomic DNA with excellent quality, which is comparable to those results of liquid nitrogen ground leaves. The genomic DNA isolated has an excellent absorbance (A260/A280) ratio observed between 1.80 and 2.00, indicating good genomic DNA without contaminants, highly suitable for PCR amplification.

2. Study on genetic diversity of Bacopa monnieri (l.) Pennell ecotype variants from Tamil Nadu by the RAPD markers

pp. 9 - 17   


Brahmi is a small prostrate herb that grows wild in marshy and damp places near water logs throughout India. The plant has been used since ancient time in folklore and traditional medicine as nervine, cardio-tonic, and diuretic. The plants were collected from18 different geographical regions of south India. RAPD profiles in order to assess diversity and the similarity matrices were generated from the RAPD data on the basis of Jaccard similarity coefficient estimates of similarity indices and dendrogram were constructed based on UPGMA clustering. OPL-05 having the maximum range of polymorphism was noticed (83.33%) and high level of monomorphism was noticed in the primer OPT-18. The amplification range is between 100 bp to 2900 bp and the total percentage of polymorphism is (50%) was observed. The observed narrow genetic base in B. monnieri population in Tamil Nadu may be attributed to the vegetative propagation of the species.

3. Plant glutathione S-transferases function during environmental stresses: a review article

pp. 19 - 25   


Glutathione S-transferases are a superfamily of multifunctional enzymes that present at every stage of plant development and in every tissue types. Plant soluble (cytoplasmic) GSTs are presented as seven groups of Phi, Tau, Zeta, Theta, Lambda, Dehydroascorbate reductase, and Tetrachlorohydroquinone dehalogenase. In plants the amino acid sequence identity between classes is usually less than 30%. They are most known for their function to protect the cell from oxidative damage by quenching reactive molecules with the addition of glutathione (GSH). This review points out some recent findings about GSTs function in stressful situations such as plant-pathogen and pest interactions, herbicide detoxification and heavy metal stress.

4. Antioxidant and antibacterial activities of Thymus vulgaris

pp. 27 - 36   


Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is a Lamiaceae used since antiquity in traditional medicine, recognized by its therapeutic virtues. In this context the present work concerns a phytochemistry study aimed to perform the extraction, quantification and the separation of different phases containing the major flavonoїds and an evaluation of their antioxidant and antibacterial activities. We used the method of Folin Ciocalteu and AlCl3, respectively, to estimate the total of polyphenols and flavonoids. The main phases containing flavonoids have been obtained following confrontations realized by solvents of increasing polarity. The antioxidant capacity of the majority of flavonoids contained in this plant is evaluated in vitro by the method of trapping the free radical DPPH°. The same flavonoids are subjected to screening for their possible antibacterial activities against some human pathogenic bacteria. The content of polyphenols and flavonoids in Thymus vulgaris is 9.07 ± 0.002 mg/g TAE of dry extract for polyphenols and 8.56 ± 0.001 mg/g QE of dry extract for flavonoids. The chromatographic and spectral identification of extracts of thyme revealed the presence of six flavonoids characterized by their antioxidant activity in the order of 70%, 58 %, 52 %, 51%, 50% and 5% respectively for quercetin (3OR’, 7OR’’), luteolin, luteolin (7OR’), apignin (5OR’, 7OR’’), kaempfrol (3OR’, 7OR’’), chrysine (7OR’) compared to quercetin standard characterized by its percentage of scavenging DPPH° equivalent to 93.05%. The microbiological results showed that the flavonoids isolated act differently on the bacterial species tested. In conclusion, this work shows that the flavonoids of selected plants have a good antioxidant and antibacterial activity, and can be used for medicinal and therapeutic applications.

5. Responses of growth and antioxidative enzymes to various concentrations of nickel in Zea mays leaves and roots

pp. 37 - 49   


To assess nickel-induced toxicity in plants, Zea mays seeds were germinated and cultured on nutrient solution with nickel concentrations of 50–200 μM for a period of two weeks. Observed biological makers included biomass, soluble and total protein contents, and the activities of guaiacol peroxidase (GPX), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT), and phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (PAL) in the leaves and roots of maize. The fresh and dry weight of leaves and roots increased in 50 μM nickel but decreased in 100 and 200 μM. Soluble and total protein contents were significantly increased by increasing nickel concentrations up to 200 μM nickel in both roots and leaves of maize. Significant increases of ascorbate peroxidase (the highest activity at 200 μM nickel), catalase (the highest activity at 50 μM nickel), and phenylalanine ammonia-lyase (the highest activity at 100 μM nickel) were observed in the leaves and roots of Zea mays seedlings at all tested nickel concentrations. Guiacol peroxidase activity was decreased in the leaves and roots of Zea mays seedlings exposed to different levels of nickel. The present results suggested that treatment with different levels of nickel may enhance the antioxidant activities in the leaves and roots of Zea mays seedlings, thus alleviate Ni-induced oxidative damage and enhance Ni tolerance.

6. The effects of GA3 application on growth, lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzymes activities, and sugars levels of cadmium stressed tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. CH) plants

pp. 63 - 70   


In the present study, the interactive effects of different concentrations of Cd (0, 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 μM) and gibberellin A3 (0, 5, and 10 μM) were examined on certain physiological parameters of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. cv. CH) plants. The results showed that Cd treatments led to decrease in growth parameters, total chlorophylls, proteins and insoluble sugars contents, while, soluble sugars contents, lipid peroxidation, antioxidant enzymes activities and Cd accumulation revealed growing attitude. The combined application of GA3 and Cd caused reduction of lipid peroxidation and improvement in growth, total chlorophylls, soluble proteins and insoluble sugars contents. In addition, soluble sugars contents, Cd accumulation and activities of antioxidant enzymes enhanced. These results suggest that GA3 application alleviates adverse effects of Cd on growth and augments tolerance against Cd toxicity in tomato plants.

7. Chlorophyll catabolism in Prunus serrulata autumnal leaves

pp. 61 - 67   


Chlorophyll catabolism in Prunus serrulata autumnal leaves was investigated. The amount of chlorophyll catabolites accumulated within the same plant species varies on the time of the leaf collection, seasonal climate and developmental stage of the plant. The chlorophyll catabolites found in Prunus serrulata autumnal leaves presented the tendency of the organism to decrease the level of photodynamically active chlorophyll before the programmed cell death. In the methanol extract several chlorophyll catabolites were identified. The results obtained by liquid – chromatography / mass spectrometry permitted the identification of the chlorophyll catabolites found in Prunus serrulata autumnal leaves. The analysis done revealed the chlorophyll catabolic pathway found in Prunus serrulata autumnal leaves.

8. Palynological studies on selected eight species of Acacia, Willd in south India

pp. 69 - 77   


Acacia is one among the tribes of the family Mimosaceae of the order Leguminales. The Palynological study of Acacia genus is of great interest, since there is an apparent difference in the size and pollen apertures. In this present study the author selected 8 rare and important species of Acacia collected from various part of Tamilnadu, south India viz. Acacia auriculiformis cunn. ex Benth, Acacia catechu Willd, Acacia dealbata Link, Acacia latronum Willd, Acacia leucophloea Willd, Acacia longifolia Willd, Acacia mangium Willd and Acacia planifrons. W & A for studying pollen morphology. Also an attempt is made to interpret this diversity on the basis of the fundamental Palynological characters. The size differences mainly the number of pores is of great use in the identification of species. The pollen unit is of polyad type in all the 8 taxa, taken for this study. Aperture morphology showed Acacia auriculiformis cunn. ex Benth, Acacia leucophloea Willd and Acacia planifrons are 3–4 porate, Acacia catechu Willd and Acacia dealbata Link are indistinct, Acacia latronum Willd and Acacia mangium Willd are 4 porate, Acacia longifolia Willd is 3 porate respectively. The ornamentation is foveolate in Acacia catechu Willd, Acacia dealbata Link, Acacia latronum Willd and Acacia leucophloea Willd and faintly faveolate in Acacia auriculiformis cunn. ex Benth, Acacia longifolia Willd, Acacia mangium Willd and Acacia planifrons. W & A.

9. Therapeutic uses of some seeds among the tribals of Banaskantha district, Gujarat, India

pp. 79 - 82   


The traditional uses of seeds in different forms viz. seeds-paste, seeds powder, decoction, raw, infusion or oil as medicine for ameliorating diseases is steel prevalent among the tribal communities inhabiting the forest area of Banaskantha District, Gujarat, India. This paper presented 15 plant species that have been listed. All the listed plants belong to 14 genera and 11 families.


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