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Anti-mitotic and anti-proliferation potentials of aqueous and methanolic extracts of fermented <i>Citrullus vulgaris (ogiri-egusi)</i> seeds

R.A. Ayo-Lawal
S.O. Azeez
O. Osoniyi


There is a growing scientific evidence of the health-enhancing benefits of fermented food and beverages, especially in cancer prevention and  treatment. Ogiri-egusi is an indigenously fermented condiment consumed in some West African countries, and prepared mainly from natural fermentation of melon (Citrullus vulgaris) seeds. The condiment has been previously reported to possess anti-oxidative and anti hyperlipid emic properties. In this study, different concentrations of ogiri-egusi extracts were exposed to actively dividing cells from Allium cepa meristematic roots and Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the antimitotic and antiproliferative investigations, respectively. There was a statistically significant reduction in mitotic activities of the treated A. cepa meristematic cells compared to the untreated cells. The mitotic index (MI) of the untreated cells was 28.38 ± 4.58. At a concentration of 1.0 mg/ml, the extracts induced a reduction in the MI to 6.02 ± 2.74 and 4.94 ± 0.61 in the aqueous and methanolic extracts- treated cells, respectively. Some chromosomal aberrations were also observed. In addition, proliferation in yeast cells was significantly inhibited at all the concentrations of the aqueous extract examined as well as at the highest concentration of the methanolic extract. These results provide useful insights to the cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of fermented Citrullus vulgaris.

Keywords: Fermented Citrullus vulgaris, Allium cepa, antiproliferation, cytotoxicity, genotoxicity

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print ISSN: 0189-1731