Isaac Scientific Publishing

Environmental Pollution and Protection

Anatomical Changes Linked Lerformance of Two Indigenous Medicinal Plants, Withania Somnifera Dunal and Coleus Forskohlii Briq. Exposed to Supplemental Ultraviolet-B Radiation

Download PDF (473.3 KB) PP. 49 - 55 Pub. Date: June 27, 2017

DOI: 10.22606/epp.2017.22002


  • Swabha Takshak
    Laboratory of Air Pollution and Global Climate Change, Department of Botany, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
  • Shashi Bhushan Agrawal*
    Laboratory of Air Pollution and Global Climate Change, Department of Botany, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India


Supplemental ultraviolet-B (s-UV-B) radiation (ambient+3.6kJ m-2 day-1) was given to two medicinal plants Withania somnifera and Coleus forskohlii for 3 h day-1 during the solar noon period. Changes at the anatomical level were studied in leaves and roots of the plants. Variations were observed in all s-UV-B treated plant-parts (except roots of W. somnifera). The changes included increased leaf thickness (W. somnifera), enhanced accumulation of UV-B absorbing compounds in leaves of both plants and roots of C. forskohlii, and reduced thickness of cork- and cambial cell layers in C. forskohlii. Due to reduction in the number of oil bodies in cork cells, essential oil content of C. forskohlii also reduced. The results suggest that the test plants are capable of defending themselves (at least partially) against s-UV-B; further in-depth studies are required to derive more substantial results linking the cellular level changes to the overall plant performance.


Anatomy, c. forskohlii, s-UV-B, w. somnifera.


[1] V. Shah, “Cultivation and utilization of medicinal plants (supplement)”, RRL and CSIR, Jammu-Tawai, 1996, pp. 385-411.

[2] C. A. Jaleel, R. Gopi, P. Manivannan, and R. Panneerselvam, “Exogenous application of triadimefon affects the antioxidant defense system of Withania somnifera Dunal.”, Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology, vol. 91, no. 3, pp. 170-174, 2008.

[3] P.P. Joy, J. Thomas, S. Mathew, and B. P. Skaria, “Medicinal Plants” In Tropical Plants Vol.2, Naya Prokash, Calcutta, 2001, pp. 449-632.

[4] N. Alam, M. Hossain, M. I. Khalil, M. Moniruzzaman, S. A. Sulaiman, and S. A. Gan, “Recent advances in elucidating the biological properties of Withania somnifera and its potential role in health benefits”, Phytochemistry Reviews, vol. 11, pp. 97-112, 2012.

[5] S. Sivamani, B. Joseph, and B. Kar, “Anti-inflammatory activity of Withania somnifera leaf extract in stainless steel implant induced inflammation in adult zebrafish”, Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, vol.12, pp. 1-6, 2014.

[6] S. K. Verma and A. Kumar, "Therapeutic uses of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) with a note on withanolides and its pharmacological actions", Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical and Clinical Research, vol. 4, no.1, pp. 1-4, 2011.

[7] V. Sharma, S. Sharma, and R. Paliwal, “Withania somnifera: A rejuvenating ayurvedic medicinal herb for the treatment of various human ailments”, International Journal of PharmTech Research, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 187-192,2011.

[8] I. Pateraki, J. Andersen-Ranberg, A. M. Heskes, H. J. Martens, P. Zerbe, S. S. Bach, B. L. M?ller, J. Bohlmann,and B. Hamberger, “Manoyl oxide (13R), the biosynthetic precursor of forskolin, is synthesized in specialized root cork cells in Coleus forskohlii”, Plant Physiology, vol. 164, pp. 1222-1236, 2014.

[9] S. Kamohara, and S. Noparatanawong, “A Coleus forskohlii extract improves body composition in healthy volunteers: An open-label trial”, Personalized Medicine Universe, vol. 2, pp. 25-27, 2013.

[10] H. N. Shivaprasad, S. Gopalakrishna, B. Mariyanna, M. Thekkoot, R. Reddy, and B. S. Tippeswamy, “Effect of Coleus forskohlii extract on cafeteria diet-induced obesity in rats”, Pharmacognosy Research, vol. 6, no. 1, pp.42-45, 2014.

[11] M. Paul, A. Radha, and D. S. Kumar, “On the high value medicinal plant, Coleus forskohlii Briq.”, Hygeia: Journal for Drugs and Medicines, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 69-78, 2013.

[12] R. L. McKenzie, P. J. Aucamp, A. F. Bais, L. O. Bj?rn, M. Ilyas, and S. Madronich, “Ozone depletion and climate change: impacts on UV radiation”, Photochemical and Photobiological Sciences, vol. 10, pp. 182-198, 2011.

[13] C. L. Ballaré, M. M. Caldwell, S. D. Flint, A. A. Robinson, and J. F. Bornman, “Effects of solar ultraviolet radiation on terrestrial ecosystems. Patterns, mechanisms, and interactions with climate change”, Photochemical and Photobioogical Sciences, vol. 10, pp. 226-241, 2011.

[14] J. G. Anderson, D. M. Wilmouth, J. B. Smith, and D. S. Sayers, “UV dosage levels in summer: Increased risk of ozone loss from convectively injected water vapour”, Science, vol. 337, pp. 835-839, 2012.

[15] J. C. Laube, M. J. Newland, C. Hogan, C. A. M. Brenninkmeijer, P. J. Fraser, P. Martineire, D. E. Oram, C. E. Reeves, T. R?ckmann, J. Schwander, E. Witrant, and W. T. Sturges, “Newly detected ozone depleting substances in the atmosphere”, Nature Geoscience, vol. 7, pp. 266-269, 2014.

[16] F. Hollósy, “Effects of ultraviolet radiation on plant cells”, Micron, vol. 33, pp. 179-197, 2002.

[17] M. M. Caldwell, “Solar ultraviolet radiation and the growth and development of higher plants” In Phytophysiology, Academic Press, New York, 1971, pp. 131-177.

[18] S. Takshak, and S. B. Agrawal, “Effect of ultraviolet-B radiation on biomass production, lipid peroxidation, reactive oxygen species, and antioxidants in Withania somnifera”, Biologia Plantarum, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 328-334, 2014.

[19] G. K. Phoenix, D. Gwynn-Jones, T. V. Callaghan, D. Sleep, and J. A. Lee, “Effects of global change on a subarctic heath: effects of enhanced UV-B radiation and increased summer precipitation”, Journal of Ecology, vol.89, no. 2, pp. 256-267, 2001.

[20] M. Reyes-Díaz, C. Meri?o-Gergichevich, C. Inostroza-Blancheteau, M. Latsague, P. Acevedo, and M. Alberdi,“Anatomical, physiological, and biochemical traits involved in the UV-B radiation response in highbush blueberry”, Biologia Plantarum, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 355-366, 2016.

[21] V. G. Kakani, K. R. Reddy, D. Zhao, and K. Sailaja, “Field crop responses to ultraviolet-B radiation: a review”, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol. 120, pp. 191-218, 2003.

[22] J. E. Corlett, J. Stephen, H. G. Jones, R. Woodfin, R. Mepsted, and N.D. Paul, “Assessing the impact of UV-B radiation on the growth and yield of field crops” In Plants and UV-B: responses to environmental change, Society for Experimental Biology, Seminar Series 64. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997, pp. 195-211.

[23] V. G. Kakani, K. R. Reddy, D. Zhao, and A. R. Mohammed, “Effects of ultraviolet-B radiation on cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) morphology and anatomy”, Annals of Botany, vol. 91, pp. 817-826, 2003.

[24] M. Tevini, and D. Steinmüller, “Influence of light, UV-B radiation, and herbicides on wax biosynthesis of cucumber seedlings”, Journal of Plant Physiology, vol. 131, pp. 111-121, 1987.

[25] M. G. Holmes, “Action spectra for UV-B effects on plants: monochromatic approaches for analyzing plant responses” In Plants and UV-B: responses to environmental change, Society for Experimental Biology, Seminar Series 64. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997, pp. 31-50.

[26] R. Kumari, and S. B. Agrawal, “Supplemental UV-B induced changes in leaf morphology, physiology, and secondary metabolites of an Indian aromatic plant Cymbopogon citratus (D.C.) Staph under natural field conditions”, International Journal of Environmental Studies, vol. 67, no. 5, pp. 655-675, 2010.

[27] H. Skaltsa, E. Verykokidon, C. Harvala, G. Karabourniotis, and Y. Manetas, “UV-B protective potential and flavonoid content of leaf hairs of Quercus ilex”, Phytochemistry, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 987-990, 1994.

[28] J.B. Harborne, “Nature, distribution and function of plant flavonoids”, Progress in Clinical and Biological Research, vol. 213, pp. 14-24, 1986.

[29] L. C. Olsson, M. Veit, and J.F. Borman, “Epidermal transmittance and phenolic composition in leaves of atrazine-tolerant and atrazine-sensitive cultivars of Brassica napus grown under enhanced UV-B radiation”, Physiologia Plantarum, vol. 107, no. 3, pp. 259-266, 1999.

[30] E.H. Middleton, and A.H. Teramura, “The role of flavonol glycosides and carotenoids in protecting soy bean from ultraviolet- B damage”, Plant Physiology, vol. 103, no. 3, pp. 741-752, 1993.

[31] M. A. K. Jansen, V. Gaba, and B. M. Greenberg, “Higher plants and UV-B radiation: Balancing damage, repair and acclimation”, Trends in Plant Science, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 131-135, 1998.

[32] S. Takshak, and S. B. Agrawal, “Secondary metabolites and phenylpropanoid pathway enzymes as influenced under supplemental ultraviolet-B radiation in Withania somnifera Dunal, an indigenous medicinal plant”, Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology, vol. 140, pp. 332-343, 2014.

[33] S. Takshak, and S. B. Agrawal, “Defence strategies adopted by the medicinal plant Coleus forskohlii against supplemental ultraviolet-B radiation: Augmentation of secondary metabolites and antioxidants”, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, vol. 97, pp. 124-138, 2015.

[34] P. W. Barnes, C. L. Ballaré, and M. M. Caldwell, “Photomorphogenic effects of UV-B radiation on plants: consequences for light competition”, Journal of Plant Physiology, vol. 148, pp. 15-20, 1996.

[35] G. Karabourniotis, K. Papadopoulos, M. Papamarkou, and Y. Manetas, “Ultraviolet-B radiation absorbing capacity of leaf hairs”, Physiologia Plantarum, vol. 86, no. 3, pp. 414-418, 1992.

[36] R. Kumari, and S. B. Agrawal, “Comparative analysis of essential oil composition and oil containing glands in Ocimum sanctum L. (Holy basil) under ambient and supplemental level of UV-B through gas chromatography–mass spectrometry and scanning electron microscopy”, Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 1093-1101, 2011.

[37] R. Kumari, S. B. Agrawal, and A. Sarkar, “Evaluation of changes in oil cells and composition of essential oil in lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus (D.C.) Stapf.) due to supplemental ultraviolet-B irradiation”, Current Science, vol. 97, no. 8, pp. 1137-1142, 2009.