Staining with Hibiscus flowers

From:"J. A. Kiernan"

This is a rather late reply to a Histonet query
from Solomon Adebayo in Nigeria.

Several plant extracts can be good stains. That's a
tradition going back before 1800.

In the 9th edition of Conn's Biological Stains (Chapter 17),
(by Lillie, 1977) there are 7 pages about anthocynanines used 
as stains, with several references. No Hibiscus species (or
any other members of the Malvaceae) is mentioned as a source 
of a stain. There is a short entry for malvidin, the aglycone
of malvin, but the source of this anthocyanine is cited as
"malva" (Primula visasa)" [sic] and also "blue grapes."

In the 10th edition of Conn's (2002) anthocyanines are briefly 
mentioned as a sub-group of polymethine dyes (on p.36) but no
examples are included in the second of the two chapters on 
polymethines. Ch 24: Styryls, thiazoles, coumarins and 
flavonoids, by Richard Horobin, is where anthocyanines
would go in the 10th ed.

The usual reason for excluding a dye from the 10th edition 
of Conn's was either (a) unknown identity, as in the cases
of some trade-secret fluroochromes, (b) few or no citations
in recent scientific literature (recent means since about 
1995 with a fair amount of latitude), or (c) not used in  
lab manuals and textbooks that are currently used.
Criterion (b) excluded many possibly useful dyes that 
were in the 9th edition but which never took off. Lillie
provided a useful database of possibly valuable dyes,
but the scientific community didn't take up the challenge
of finding uses for them. The 9th edition of Conn's is
therefore a reservoir of information about many dyes 
and fluorochromes that have slipped into obscurity.

Solomon, you are probably on your own trying to develop
a staining method that uses "the extract of hibiscus 
flower" and I wish you well. If you invent a new staining
method you will experience great satisfaction. If other
people use your method and publish their work, you will
rightly feel that you have given something to the world.

John A. Kiernan
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
The University of Western Ontario
London,   Canada   N6A 5C1


Solomon Adebayo wrote:
> hi fellow histoneters,
> can someone help me out with information of the
> histological use of the extract of hibiscus flower?
> i am thinking it could be of use in demonstration of
> tissue elements.
> thank you all
> benard solomon,
> pathology dept.,
> university of ilorin teaching hospital
> kwara state, nigeria
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