THE CLASTOGENIC EFFECT OF TARTRAZINE, A SYNTHETIC YELLOW DYE, IN PLANT MERISTEMATIC TISSUES

ELENA BONCIU, ELENA ROSCULETE, C. A. ROSCULETE

Abstract


Food dyes is used both in commercial food production and in domestic cooking. One of the colorants is tartrazine (Tz), a synthetic lemon yellow dye. The purpose of this paper was to highlight the clastogenic effect of Tz to plants meristematic tissues, using the Allium assay. Three different concentrations (0.3, 1 and 1.3%) were used, the exposure time being 6 hours. The statistical analysis of the obtained results indicates that with the increase Tz concentration, mitotic activity is inhibited, while the chromosomal aberration rate in the cells in mitosis as well as the frequency of nuclear abnormalities in the interphase cells increases. The main genetic abnormalities identified were laggards, stickiness, C-mitosis and micronucleus. These results suggest prudence regarding the consumption of processed foods which containing tartrazine.

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