There have been a number of reported drawbacks and efficacy issues regarding the use of bleaching agents in the plant industry. This study was conducted to determine the cytological effects of the bleaching agent (Quneex) on the plant cells and plant DNA using the Allium cepa assay. In the study, sixteen root meristems of A. cepa were subjected to different concentrations of the bleaching agent (0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4 and 0.5%) with different periods of time (6, 12 and 24 h). Recovery was done for 6, 12 and 24 h after exposure. The mitotic index significantly decreased with time and also decreased with increase in the concentration of the bleaching agent. Abnormal chromosomal changes reflecting mutagenesis including stickiness, laggards, bridges, C-metaphase, star-metaphase, binucleation, polyploidy, disturbance and multinucleation were observed in the different concentrations and periods of time. After recovery, a slow increase in the mitotic index was observed. All treatments with or without recovery for 12 and 24 h resulted in reduction in the amount of DNA. Bleaching agents similar to Quneex containing sodium hypochlorite have mutagenic properties that can be potentially hazardous to the environment and also to humans. Thus, there is a need to regulate the use and disposal of such chemicals into the environment particularly to the sewers, to prevent contamination of potable water, plant and biodiverse aquatic animals.
Author: I Algwaiz H. ; Full Source: Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences. 2018 Jan; 21(5):205-214. doi: 10.3923/pjbs.2018.205.214.