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As manychemicals with genotoxic potential are emitted to surface water, genotoxicitytests are gaining importance which led to the development of several techniquesto detect directly DNA damage. The relevance of detecting the genotoxic risksassociated with water pollution was firstly perceived in the late 1970s. Sincethat time several tests have been developed for evaluating DNA alterations inaquatic animals. These tests rely on the premise that any changes to DNA mayhave long-lasting and profound consequences. Sister chromatid test, chromosomeaberrations, comet assay, and micronucleus test are currently the most widelyemployed methods to detect DNA lesions in ecotoxicology. Chromosomal aberrationand sister chromatid exchanges are time consuming, resource intensive andrequire proliferating cell population. Hence, Comet assay and Micronucleus testas cost effective and more sensitive test systems have now been introduced forassessing the genotoxicity of chemicals. This review presents a synthesis ofthe state of the art in the methodologies of comet assay and micronucleus testand their contributions in aquatic environmental research. The text exploresthe latest knowledge and thinking on these very important approaches for theassessment of environmental health, management, and conservation. The primaryconcern of the present review is the measurement of genotoxic potential in aquaticorganisms under field and laboratory conditions, where effects of chemicals atdifferent levels of biological organization can be examined.


Aquatic Environmental Research, Genotoxicity Tests, Aquatic Organisms, Comet Assay, Micronucleus Test

Cite this paper

Osman, A. 2014 Genotoxicity Tests and Their Contributions in Aquatic Environmental Research. Journal of Environmental Protection, 5, 1391-1399. doi: 10.4236-jep.2014.514132.

Autor: Alaa G. M. Osman1,2*



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