Mutation research

Genotoxic effects of the pesticides Rubigan, Omite and Rovral in root-meristem cells of Crepis capillaris L.

PMID 18420449


Three pesticides have been studied for their genotoxicity by the use of assays in the plant Crepis capillaris, aimed at measuring chromosomal aberrations, micronuclei and sister chromosome exchange (SCE). The fungicides Rubigan 12 EC (fenarimol) and Rovral 25 Flo (iprodione) and the insecticide Omite 57 E (propargite) are all widely used nowadays. The aim of our study was to evaluate the genotoxic effects of these pesticides at concentrations corresponding to those applied in agricultural practice. In preliminary experiments we found that these concentrations do not influence cell proliferation and do not inhibit the growth of root meristems. In all experiments formulated commercial products were used. From the results we conclude that the three pesticides did not induce chromosomal aberrations as estimated by metaphase and anaphase analyses. They were also not capable to induce SCE. Rubigan did not induce micronucleus formation even at the highest concentration tested, but Omite and Rovral markedly increased micronucleus formation. The MN response depended on the sampling time and the concentration used, which showed a significant dose-response correlation (r=0.978, P<0.01 and r=0.941, P<0.01, respectively). A greater increase in micronucleus frequency was observed after Rovral treatment, where the highest concentration gave a response 8-10-fold above the negative control. Both pesticides induced high frequencies of lagging chromosomes, even after exposure to the lower test concentrations. The presence of lagging chromosomes is an indication of anti-microtubule activity of the pesticides tested. This effect was more strongly expressed after exposure to the two higher concentrations of Omite and Rovral. In this case a complete destruction of the mitotic spindle was observed, resulting in C-mitoses as well as in numerical aberrations-polyploidy and aneuploidy. The present findings suggest that Omite and Rovral at concentrations comparable to those used in practice can be regarded as potential aneugens.