Cytogenetic effects of the food preservatives — Sodium benzoate and sodium sulphite on Vicia faba root meristems
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Sodium sulphite and sodium benzoate induce in Vicia faba root meristems: (1) dose-dependent reduction in mitotic figures, (2) intact and severed anaphase bridges, (3) premature chromosome condensation heading to pycnofic nuclei, and (4) chromatin erosion in interphase nuclei. The effects are due to the anions and not due to the sodium ions. Complete recovery of mitotic figures and normal chromosome configurations were observed within the first 23–46 h of regrowth. Recovery was accompanied by severed anaphase bridges and micronuclei of various shapes. Both benzoate and sulphite inhibit DNA synthesis in Vicia faba root meristems. Sulphite was more effective than benzoate.