SEM and Elemental Studies of Swertia chirayita: A Critically Endangered Medicinal Herb of Temperate Himalayas

Order of Publishing in Issue: 
Volume :6
Issue :3
July, 2012
Page No: 
Sheela Chandra [1*], Vijay Kumar [1], Rajib Bandopadhyay[1] and Madan Mohan Sharma[2]
[1] Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi 835215, Jharkhand, India
[2] Department of Botany, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302055, India


The plant Swertia chirayita is of immense medicinal importance. Due to its high demand in the pharmaceutical market and poor seed germination, the plant is categorized as critically endangered. In the present study, seed and pollen morphology has been investigated by light and scanning electron microscopy and elemental analysis has been performed. Seeds showed variation in seed shape and size. Seed coat pattern was reticulate-alveolate revealed through SEM studies. The pollen grains of S. chirayita studied were radially symmetrical and isopolar, oblate-spheroidal, inoperculate with reticulate ornamentation. Palynological and seed morphological characters are significant inidentification of a particular species. The microphotograph obtained with the help of scanning electron microscope (SEM) and weight percentage of specific elemental concentration obtained from energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy attached to SEM are also reported. Elements play both curative and preventive roles against diseases. Roots samples showed higher concentration of Cl, K, Si, Al and Fe whereas concentration of Na, Ca, Cu, Zn, Mg were found high in leaves.

Scanning electron microscopy, Elemental analysis, Gentianaceae, Palynology, Swertia Chirayita.
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