Morpho-anatomical effects of sodium azide and nitrous acid on Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai (Cucurbitaceae) and Moringa oleifera Lam. (Moringaceae)

ABSTRACT Chemical mutagens (e.g. sodium azide and nitrous acid) are important tools in crop improvements because they produce resistance against pathogens in crops to improve their yield and quality traits. This study investigates the morphological and anatomical effects of sodium azide and nitrous acid on Citrullus lanatus and Moringa olefeira at various concentrations (1 mM, 2 mM, 3 mM and 4 mM) for 4 hours, and planted in plastic pots for 12 weeks observations. Results showed that sodium azide and nitrous acid have differential influenced on morphological features (stem height, leaf number and root length) in C. lanatus and M. olefeira respectively. Anatomical features (stomatal density, index and size) are more influenced by the sodium azide-treated plants in both plants than in the nitrous acid-treated plants. Both mutagens are more effective in the two plants than the control.