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Introduction

Background of the Study


According to The FreeDictionary.com (2003-2016), iron is chiefly important to the human body
because it is the main constituent of hemoglobin, cytochrome, and other components of respiratory
enzyme systems. A constant although small intake of iron in food is needed to replace erythrocytes that
are destroyed in the body processes. Most iron reaches the body in food, where it occurs naturally in the
form of iron compounds. These are converted for use in the body by the action of the hydrochloric acid
produced in the stomach. This acid separates the iron from the food and combines with it in a form that is
readily assimilable by the body.
Iron supplements are most often used for certain types of anemia. Anemia can cause fatigue and
other symptoms (WebMD, 2005-2016). According to MedlinePlus (2015), iron supplements may be taken
as capsules, tablets, chewable tablets, and liquids. The most common tablet size is 325 mg (ferrous
sulfate). Black stools are a certain side effect which indicates that the supplement is working.
According to Rona (2008), many different brands of this type of iron supplement are available at
a regular pharmacy. These would be fine if they didn't cause black stools, stomach irritation, and
constipation in most people taking them. In addition, their absorption into the bloodstream is weak. In
severe cases of diarrhea, they might have a role to play as alternatives to narcotics or other toxic
constipating drugs.
In this experiment, the researchers will be using expired iron supplements on Allium cepa and
Drosophila melanogaster to see if mutations will occur. According to Blamire (2000), Mutation occurs
when a DNA gene is damaged or changed in such a way as to alter the genetic message carried by that
gene. Mutagen is an agent of substance that can bring about a permanent alteration to the physical
composition of a DNA gene such that the genetic message is changed. According to Orkin, LLC (2016),
fruit flies have a very simple genetic structure, which makes them ideal for genetic research. It is useful to
study mutant fruit flies, as their quick reproduction rate allows scientists to observe the advantages and
disadvantages of certain mutations. According to vlab.amrita.edu (2011), the most commonly used root
tips in labs to study mitosis are onion, wheat, lentil, barley and alfalfa. An onion root tip is a rapidly
growing part of the onion and thus many cells will be in different stages of mitosis. The onion root tips
can be prepared and squashed in a way that allows them to be flattened on a microscopic slide, so that the
chromosomes of individual cells can be observed easily. According to Rossi (2004), Onions have larger

chromosomes than most plants and stain dark. The chromosomes are easily observed through a compound
light microscope.
Statement of the Problem
This study aims to determine the mutagenic effects of expired iron supplement on fruitfly
(Drosophila melanogaster) and the genotoxic effects of expired iron supplement on onion (Allium cepa )
meristematic cells.
Specifically, this study aimed to answer the following questions:
1. What is the effect of expired iron supplement on fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)?
2. What is the effect of expired iron supplement on onion (Allium cepa) meristematic cells?
3. Is there a significant difference on the mutagenic effects of expired iron supplement on Fruit fly
(Drosophila melanogaster)?
4. Is there a significant difference on the genotoxic effects on onion (Allium cepa) meristematic
cells.
Objectives

To determine the mutagenic effects of expired iron supplement on Fruitfly (Drosophila

melanogaster)
To determine the genotoxic effects of expired iron supplement on Onion (Allium cepa)

Meristematic cells
To determine any significant difference on the mutagenic effects of expired iron
supplement on Fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster) or genotoxic effects on onion (Allium
cepa) meristematic cells.