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Discussion

In a study carried out by Norah and


colleagues (2011), they investigated the effect of
a particular brand of energy drink on mitosis and
nucleic acid on Vicia faba, and they were able to
observe chromosomal abnormalities such as
stickiness, C-metaphase, and laggards ( Norah
et.al., 2011). Furthermore, the mitotic index
significantly decreased with increasing energy
drink concentration. Thus, in relation to their
study, we aim to observe possible chromosomal
aberrations caused by the energy drink Sting on
Allium cepas meristematic cells.
Varying concentrations of the energy
drink, including distilled water as control was
used in the experiment. After a week of
exposure, roots emerged from all of the onion
bulbs. This means that the energy drink did not
completely inhibit cell division; however, there
was a decrease in the growth rate of those
treated with energy drink compared to the
control group as indicated by their root
measurements.
Cytotoxic substances can inhibit the
mitotic activity of cells, and one way of
determining the cytotoxic level of a compound
is by calculating the mitotic index (Khanna &
Sharma, 2013). A mitotic index decrease below
22% of negative control can cause lethal effects
while a decrease below 50% has sublethal
effects (Sharma, 2012).

Energy drinks are specifically designed


and advertised to provide energy, and all of
which contain the active ingredient caffeine. It
has been proven that caffeine can cause
chromosomal aberrations on both plant and
animal cells (Kihlman et. al., 1971). But if this
was the case, how come these kinds of drinks
are not prohibited? All manufacturing companies
are mandated to follow guidelines regarding the

allowed amount of caffeine or any potential


compounds to be added to their products.
Typically, they are present only in milligrams.
Nonetheless, animal cells were observed to
respond differently from plant cells to caffeine
(Kihlman et. al., 1971).
Other than energy and soda drinks, some
widely used drugs were proven to pose
cytogenic effects. Colchicine is one of the very
first drug to be tested of its cytotoxic risk on
both plant and animals cells. One of the
commonly observed chromosomal aberration,
the c-mitosis, was termed after a common
pattern characterized by selective inhibition of
spindle fiber formation that interferes with
nuclear division at metaphase, caused by
colchicine (Smith, 1956).
The drug Alprazolam that is usually
prescribed to patients suffering from panic
disorders and anxiety was also been proven to
bring about chromosomal and nuclear alterations
on Allium cepa. Nefic et. al. (2013) were able to
observed a significant decrease in the mitotic
index of Allium cepa after exposure to
increasing concentrations of Alprazolam. The
presence of chromosomal bridges was noted, as
caused by dicentric chromosomes and unequally
exchanged chromatids undergoing translocation
(Nefic et. al., 2013).
Aside from this information, a lot of
different researches focused on the potential risk
of commercial products are being conducted at
present. The Allium cepa assay has been one of
the most common methods utilized. Generally,
the plant and animal chromosomes are similar,
and appear to respond to treatment with
mutagens in a similar way of those mammals
and other eukaryotes (Nefic et. al., 2013). All of
these researches do not intend to antagonize
such products, but rather to raise awareness of
their possible negative effects to the human body
and plants as well.

References:
Kihlman, B.A. et. al. (1971). Caffeine, caffeine
derivatives and chromosomal aberrations.
Heriditas, 69, 35-50
Khanna, N. & Sharma, S. (2013). Allium Cepa
Root Chromosomal Aberration Assay: A
Review. Indian J. Pharm. Biol. Res, 3, 105-119
Nefic, H., Musanovic, J., Metovic, A., Kurteshi,
K. et. al. (2013). Chromosomal and Nuclear
Alterations in Root Tip Cells of Allium Cepa L.

Induced by Alprazolam. Med Archive, 67, 388392. Doi 10.5455/medarh.2013.67.388-392


Norah, H. et. al. (2011). Effect of Energy Drink
Bison on Mitosis and Nucleic Acids Content in
Vicia faba, 21, 55-65. Doi: 10.4197 / Sci. 23-1.5
Smith, D.L. (1956). A comparison of effects of
colchicine and some purified veratrum alkaloid
on nuclear division in roots of Allium cepa l.
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