ISSN 1022-7954, Russian Journal of Genetics, 2009, Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. 495–498. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2009.
Original Russian Text © K.Kh. Makhmudova, E.D. Bogdanova, E.V. Levites, 2009, published in Genetika, 2009, Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. 564–567.
The literature includes many original articles,
reviews, and manuscripts on epigenetics, a new and
rapidly developing ﬁeld of genetics. In contrast to clas-
sical static Mendelian genetics, epigenetics focuses not
only on the number and allele composition of genes,
but also on their possible heritable epiallelic states
(active and inactive) [1–5].
Most biochemical process in the cell are known to
involve biological membranes. This is well illus-
trated by the structures of mitochondria, chloro-
plasts, and the total cell, since the cell has a highly
organized structure with a rich membrane network.
Hence, it is of interest to study the effect on plants
for agents that affect the state of membranes and
membrane-associated proteins. The surfactant poly-
ethylene glycol octylphenyl ester (Triton X-100,
TX-100) is one of such agents .
Surfactants are chemical compounds that are
absorbed at the interface of two phases, one of which is
usually aqueous, and reduce the surface tension. A sur-
factant molecule consists of a hydrocarbon radical (4–
groups) and a polar group (OH, COOH, NH
H, etc.). An ionogenic surfactant dissociates in
solution into a cation and an anion, of which one has
surface activity and the other (counterion) does not.
Surfactants are accordingly classiﬁed as cation active,
anion active, and amphoteric (ampholytic). Noniono-
genic surfactants are electrically neutral in solution.
TX-100 is a nonionogenic detergent that disrupts
membranes by removing membrane phospholipids and
solubilizing proteins and protein complexes .
The objective of this work was to study the induc-
tion of heritable changes of morphological traits in
The spring common wheat cultivar Alem was
used as a subject. Field experiments were carried out
on an experimental plot of the Kazakh Research and
Production Center of Agriculture and Plant Industry
(KazRPCAP). To select the optimal treatment, seeds
were soaked in water containing TX-100 at various
concentrations (0.1–0.01%). Seeds were incubated at
for 24 h. During tillering, vegetating plants
were sprayed with the corresponding TX-100 solu-
tions. Dry seeds and seeds soaked in water were used
as a control.
Each variant was tested in duplicate and included
50 seeds, which were planted with a nutrition area of
Triton X-100 Induces Heritable Changes of Morphological Traits
K. Kh. Makhmudova
, E. D. Bogdanova
, and E. V. Levites
Institute of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Almaty, 050040 Kazakhstan;
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, 630090 Russia;
Received May 3, 2007; in ﬁnal form, January 21, 2008
—The effect of the nonionic detergent polyethylene glycol octylphenyl ester, Triton X-100 (TX-100)
on the spring common wheat cultivar Alem was studied under laboratory and ﬁeld conditions. Treatment of
seeds and vegetating plants with 0.1 and 0.01% TX-100 (aqueous solution) changed the spike morphology in
all plants of the ﬁrst posttreatment generation. The changes were inherited by the second generation without
additional treatment with TX-100. Square-headed dense spikes with doubled spikelets of the
(an additional spikelet at the top of the main one), elongate dense and lax spikes, mid-dense spikes, and fusiform
spikes were observed. An epigenetic nature was assumed for the observed changes.