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Journal of Applied Genetics 48(4), 2007, pp. 359-361

Clastogenic and mitodepressive effects of the insecticide dichlorvos on root meristems of Vicia faba

Renata Kontek, Regina Osiecka, Bodgan Kontek

Abstract: Plant bioassays are an important and integral part of the test battery used in detecting genotoxic/carcinogenic contamination in the environment. Highly sensitive biomonitoring of plant models have been developed, which enables the detection of hazards arising from pesticides, insecticides, industrial contamination, heavy metals and radiation. Root tips of Vicia faba ssp. minor were treated with 1-60 mM of the organophosphorus insecticide dichlorvos (DDVP) for 2 h, followed by a 20-h recovery period. Maleic acid hydrazide (MH) was used as a positive control for the mitotic index, micronucleus and chromosomal aberration assays performed on the Vicia model system. All treatments with DDVP significantly decreased the mitotic activity and increased the frequency of chromosomal aberrations at the metaphase. The frequency of micronuclei was significantly increased at DDVP concentrations starting from 10 mM. The results demonstrate clastogenic and mitodepressive effects of DDVP on Vicia faba cells.

Key words: mitotic index, micronuclei, chromosomal aberrations.

Correspondence: R. Kontek, Laboratory of Cytogenetics, Department of General Genetics, Molecular Biology and Plant Biotechnology, University of Lodz, Banacha 12/16, 90-237 Lodz, Poland; e-mail:

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