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Acta Biologica Hungarica
Authors:
Bettina Eck-Varanka
,
Nóra Kováts
,
Katalin Hubai
,
Gábor Paulovits
,
Árpád Ferincz
, and
Eszter Horváth

A wide range of aquatic plants have been proven to release allelochemicals, of them phenolics and tannin are considered rather widely distributed. Tannins, however, have been demonstrated to have genotoxic capacity. In our study genotoxic potential of Lythrum salicaria L. (Purple Loosestrife, family Lythraceae) was assessed by the mussel micronucleus test, using Unio pictorum. In parallel, total and hydrolysable tannin contents were determined. Results clearly show that the extract had a high hydrolysable tannin content and significant mutagenic effect. As L. salicaria has been long used in traditional medicine for chronic diarrhoea, dysentery, leucorrhoea and blood-spitting, genotoxic potential of the plant should be evaluated not only with regard to potential effects in the aquatic ecosystem, but also assessing its safe use as a medicinal herb.

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