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Sci Total Environ. 1992 Feb;112(1):37-44.

The mutation frequency of Drosophila melanogaster populations living under conditions of increased background radiation due to the Chernobyl accident.

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Komy Scientific Center, USSR Academy of Sciences, Syktyvkar.


One of the problems facing the program in the wake of the Chernobyl accident is the estimation of genetic damage to plants and animals. Special attention was directed to studying the influence of radioactive pollutants at the accident site by means of an appropriate test system, using standard genetic subjects. The present study describes such investigations. Levels of persistent genetic damage in natural populations of Drosophila melanogaster found in the vicinity of the Chernobyl accident site were examined from August 1986 to September 1989. Evidence is presented which indicates a relationship between the levels of radioactive pollution resulting from the Chernobyl accident and increasing genetic damage to exposed populations. The possible reasons for the decrease of mutation frequency observed in 1988 and 1989 are also discussed. Furthermore, evidence is presented which suggests that radiosensitive Drosophila mutants may be particularly sensitive indicators of radioactive pollution.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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