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Mutat Res. 2001 Jun 27;493(1-2):87-93.

DNA damage and repair in Arabidopsis thaliana as measured by the comet assay after treatment with different classes of genotoxins.

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Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Corrensstr. 3, D-06466 Gatersleben, Germany.


The three protocols of the comet assay A/N, A/A and N/N were for the first time applied to the plant species Arabidopsis thaliana. The purpose of the experiments was to establish conditions for genotoxic exposure causing DNA damage in Arabidopsis nuclei. This is required for comprehensive gene expression profiling with the intention to screen for genes involved in response of Arabidopsis cells to genotoxic stress. Five chemicals belonging to different classes of mutagens (the monofunctional alkylating agents N-methyl-N-nitrosourea and methyl methanesulfonate, the polyfunctional alkylating agent mitomycin C, the radiomimetic bleomycin and the herbicide maleic hydrazide) were tested. Except for maleic hydrazide, dose-dependent increases in DNA damage were found using the A/N comet assay protocol. While a rapid repair of bleomycin-mediated SSBs and DSBs was found, no significant reduction of DNA migration was observed up to 48h after treatment with the monofunctional alkylating agents.

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