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Mutat Res. 1997 Apr 24;390(1-2):121-7.

Allium cepa anaphase-telophase root tip chromosome aberration assay on N-methyl-N-nitrosourea, maleic hydrazide, sodium azide, and ethyl methanesulfonate.

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Department of Environment, Technology and Social Studies, Roskilde University, Denmark.


The Allium anaphase-telophase assay was used to show genotoxicity of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU), maleic hydrazide (MH), sodium azide (NaN3) and ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS). All agents induced chromosome aberrations at statistically significant levels. The rank of the lowest doses with positive effect was as follows: NaN3 0.3 mg/l < MH 1 mg/l < MNU 41 mg/l < EMS 100 mg/l. The results were compared with results from other plant assays (Arabidopsis, Vicia, Tradescantia) and for MH and MNU the values were found to be within the same range, whereas the results in the Allium test for NaN3 and EMS were in a lower range than that found for the other plant assays. EMS and MMS (methyl methanesulfonate), two chemicals used as positive controls in mutagenicity testing, were compared in the Allium test, and MMS was found to be about ten times more potent in inducing chromosome aberrations than EMS. Recording of micronuclei in interphase cells showed that this endpoint does not give more information of clastogenicity than recording of chromosome aberrations in anaphase-telophase cells.

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