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Proceedings Paper

Microscopic examination on cytological changes in Allium cepa and shift in phytoplankton population at different doses of Atrazine
Author(s): Nabarun Ghosh; Kristen Finger; Samantha Usnick; William J. Rogers; A. B. Das; Don W. Smith
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Paper Abstract

Atrazine is a wide-range herbicide. For over 50 years, atrazine has been used as a selective broadleaf herbicide in many capacities, from pre-plant to pre-emergence to post-emergence, depending on the crop and application. Currently, 96% of all atrazine used is for commercial applications in fields for the control of broadleaf and grassy weeds in crops such as sorghum, corn, sugarcane, pineapple and for the control of undesirable weeds in rangeland. Many panhandle wells have also detected atrazine in samples taken. The concern for the public is the long-term effect of atrazine with its increasing popularity, and the impact on public health. We investigated the effect of different concentrations of atrazine on Allium cepa (onion), a standard plant test system. We established a control with the Allium bulbs grown on hydroponics culture. Varying concentrations of atrazine was used on the standard plant test system, Allium cepa grown hydroponically. The mitotic indices varied and with higher doses, we observed various chromosomal abnormalities including sticky bridges, early and late separations, and lag chromosomes with higher doses of treatments. In the second part of the experiment, 0.1ppb, 1ppb, 10ppb, and 100ppb concentrations of atrazine were applied to established phytoplankton cultures from the Lake Tanglewood, Texas. Study with a Sedgwick-Rafter counter, a BX-40 Olympus microscope with DP-70 camera revealed a gradual shift in the phytoplankton community from obligatory to facultative autotroph and finally to a parasitic planktonic community. This explains the periodic fish kill in the lakes after applications of atrazine in crop fields.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2010
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 7729, Scanning Microscopy 2010, 77291W (3 June 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.853238
Show Author Affiliations
Nabarun Ghosh, West Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Kristen Finger, West Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
Samantha Usnick, West Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
William J. Rogers, West Texas A&M Univ. (United States)
A. B. Das, Orissa Univ. of Agriculture and Technology (India)
Don W. Smith, Univ. of North Texas (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7729:
Scanning Microscopy 2010
Michael T. Postek; Dale E. Newbury; S. Frank Platek; David C. Joy, Editor(s)

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