Aflatoxin B1-induced ultrastructural alterations in mature Zea mays embryos

Michelle McLean*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Mature maize (Zea mays L.) embryos were exposed to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 25 μg/ml for 9 days. With increasing toxin concentration above 2 μg/ml, primary root elongation of germinated embryos was progressively inhibited, to reach a maximum value of 81% at 25 μ/ml toxin. An ultrastructural investigation of the subcellular alterations induced following toxin exposure provided evidence of deteriorative changes in several compartments of the plant cell. Alteration in membrane integrity (e.g., the tonoplast, plasmalemma and inner mitochondrial membrane) was a frequent feature of many cells. Apparent fusion of vacuoles, incorporation of cytoplasmic components into vacuoles and intravacuolar membrane whorls might be interpreted as deteriorative alterations. The results are discussed in the light of ultrastructural findings for other plant systems exposed to similar AFB1 concentrations, as well as findings for animal systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-192
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


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