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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 854093, 9 pages
Research Article

Stimulatory Effects of Gamma Irradiation on Phytochemical Properties, Mitotic Behaviour, and Nutritional Composition of Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.)

1Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2Department of Analytical Chemistry, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Research Center, Tehran 14968-13151, Iran

Received 3 May 2014; Revised 25 June 2014; Accepted 1 July 2014; Published 23 July 2014

Academic Editor: Luigi Cattivelli

Copyright © 2014 Sadegh Mohajer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop. Syn. Onobrychis sativa L.) is a bloat-safe forage crop with high levels of tannins, which is renowned for its medicinal qualities in grazing animals. Mutagenesis technique was applied to investigate the influence of gamma irradiation at 30, 60, 90, and 120 Gy on mitotic behavior, in vitro growth factors, phytochemical and nutritional constituents of sainfoin. Although a percentage of plant necrosis and non-growing seed were enhanced by irradiation increment, the germination speed was significantly decreased. It was observed that gamma irradiated seeds had higher value of crude protein and dry matter digestibility compared to control seeds. Toxicity of copper was reduced in sainfoin irradiated seeds at different doses of gamma rays. Anthocyanin content also decreased in inverse proportion to irradiation intensity. Accumulation of phenolic and flavonoid compounds was enhanced by gamma irradiation exposure in leaf cells. HPLC profiles differed in peak areas of the two important alkaloids, Berberine and Sanguinarine, in 120 Gy irradiated seeds compared to control seeds. There were positive correlations between irradiation dose and some abnormality divisions such as laggard chromosome, micronucleus, binucleated cells, chromosome bridge, and cytomixis. In reality, radiocytological evaluation was proven to be essential in deducing the effectiveness of gamma irradiation to induce somaclonal variation in sainfoin.