Cytogenetic Tests in the Assessment of the Genotoxicity of River Water

Document Type: Original Research Paper


Department of Plant Anatomy and Cytology, University of Silesia, Jagiellonska 28, 40-032 Katowice, Poland


The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the sensitivity of plant bioassays:
Tradescantia-micronucleus (Trad-MCN) tests using BNL 02 and 4430 clones, and Crepis capillaris hairy
roots chromosome aberrations test. The evaluation of the sensitivity of the tests was based on the example of the analysis of the genotoxicity of water samples from two natural water reservoirs in Poland: the Rawa River, heavily polluted by industry, and the Goczalkowice - drinking water reservoir. Both tests showed genotoxicity of the Goczalkowice and Rawa waters. The results suggested the stronger genotoxic effect of water samples on Tradescantia 4430 clone compared to BNL 02. Tradescantia 4430 was a more sensitive bioindicator of genotoxicity than C. capillaris hairy roots. However it has been proved that Crepis capillaris hairy roots could be used as a convenient system for the environmental monitoring of water samples. Our study is the first example of using the TUNEL test (TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labeling) to determine the genotoxicity of water pollutants.