Evaluation of Environmental Contaminants and Natural Products: A Human Health Perspective

Allium cepa Root Chromosomal Aberration Assay: A Tool to Assess Genotoxicity of Environmental Contaminants

Author(s): Mandeep Kaur, Ashita Sharma, Rajneet Kour Soodan, Vanita Chahal, Vaneet Kumar, Jatinder Kaur Katnoria and Avinash Kaur Nagpal

Pp: 65-93 (29)

DOI: 10.2174/9789811410963119010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Various anthropogenic activities have resulted in constant increase in contamination of ecosystem and degradation of human health due to bio-accumulation of different types of chemical pollutants. Higher plants being sensitive can be used as one of the rapid biotools for assessment and screening of chemical contaminants present in air, water and soil ecosystems. Different toxicity assessment assays employing a range of living organisms such as microbes, plants, animals and even human cell cultures have been widely used for environmental monitoring. Among all, Allium cepa root chromosomal aberration assay is recognised as one of the important biological test systems being used as a better bio-indicator for different types of pollutants (heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and pesticides). Literature survey has revealed the assessment of genotoxic effects by induction of different types of mitotic abnormalities in Allium cepa root tips. From the literature surveying, it was clear that before exploration of any chemical compound/pesticide/heavy metal for its medicinal or other commercial use, genotoxic study is the first and mandatory step to be carried out. Present chapter is an attempt to compile studies on genotoxic effects of chemical compounds, pesticides, heavy metals, soil samples and wastewater effluents using Allium cepa root chromosomal aberration assay.

Keywords: Aberrations, Aceto-orecin, Agrochemicals, Allium Cepa, Bioindicator, Clastogenic Aberrations, Colchicine, Farmer’s Fluid, Fixation, Genotoxin, Heavy metals, PAHs, Pollutant, Pesticides, Physiological Aberrations, Root Chromosomal Aberration Assay, Root Dip, Spindle Proteins, Toxicity.

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