A series of metal chlorides were subjected to the wing spot test of Drosophila melanogaster. In the test, larvae trans-heterozygous for the wing-hair mutations mwh and flr were orally treated at the third instar stage with a test compound and the wings were inspected at the adult stage for spots expressing phenotypes of the markers. CoCl2, MnCl2, MoCl3, NiCl2 and ZnCl2 were clearly effective in inducing spots with one or two mutant hairs (small spots). CoCl2 was clearly effective in inducing spots with three or more mutant hairs (large spots) as well. CrCl3, FeCl2 and FeCl3 were negative under the conditions used. Based on estimated frequencies of small spots induced at the LD50, the genotoxic effectiveness of the positive metal salts were ranked in a sequence of CoCl2 > ZnCl2 > MoCl3 > (MnCl2, NiCl2). Since CoCl2 did not induce large spots in the wings of the mwh/TM3 flies with a suppressed ability of mitotic crossing-over, the large spots induced by this compound in the mwh/flr system were ascertained as mutant clones due to mitotic crossing-overs.
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