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Pestic Biochem Physiol. 2015 Feb;118:38-42. doi: 10.1016/j.pestbp.2014.11.007. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Determination of genotoxic effects of Imazethapyr herbicide in Allium cepa root cells by mitotic activity, chromosome aberration, and comet assay.

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Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Molecular Biology and Genetics Department, Uşak University, Uşak 64300, Turkey. Electronic address:
Faculty of Science and Literatures, Molecular Biology and Genetics Department, Afyon Kocatepe University, Afyonkarahisar 03200, Turkey.


Imazethapyr (IM) is an imidazolinone herbicide that is currently used for broad-spectrum weed control in soybean and other legume crops. In this study, cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of IM were investigated by using mitotic index (MI), mitotic phases, chromosomal abnormalities (CAs) and DNA damage on the root meristem cells of Allium cepa. In Allium root growth inhibition test, EC50 value was determined as 20 ppm, and 0.5xEC50, EC50 and 2xEC50 concentrations of IM herbicide were introduced to onion tuber roots. Distilled water and methyl methane sulfonate (MMS, 10 mg/L) were used as a negative and positive control, respectively. As A. cepa cell cycle is 24 hours, so, application process was carried out for 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours. All the applied doses decreased MIs compared to control group and these declines were found to be statistically meaningful. Analysis of the chromosomes showed that 10 ppm IM except for 48 h induced CAs but 40 ppm IM except for 72 h decreased CAs. DNA damage was found significantly higher in 20 and 40 ppm of IM compared to the control in comet assay. These results indicated that IM herbicide exhibits cytotoxic activity but not genotoxic activity (except 10 ppm) and induced DNA damage in a dose dependent manner in A. cepa root meristematic cells.


Allium test; Chromosome aberration; Comet assay; DNA damage

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