Gichner, Tomáš; Patková-Mühlfeldová, Zdeňka; Kim, J. K.
Beta vulgaris; ethyl methanesulphonate; Lens esculenta
For most crops growing in polluted areas or treated with agricultural chemicals, no genotoxicity assays are available. We have studied the possibility of using the alkaline protocol of the plant-based molecular assay - the Single Cell Gel Electrophoresis (SCGE) assay (also called Comet assay) as a method for detecting induced DNA damage in 8 agronomic important plants (ordered according to the diameter of the nuclei): sugar beet, alfalfa, tobacco, lentil, maize, potato, hard wheat, and bread wheat. The monofunctional alkylating agent ethyl methanesulphonate (EMS) was applied as a model genotoxic agent on young excised leaves of the tested crops for 18 h at 26 degrees C in the dark. With increasing concentrations of 2 to 10 mM EMS, the DNA damage, expressed by the averaged median tail moment values, significantly increased in nuclei of all crops studied. No correlation between the diameter of nuclei and sensitivity to EMS treat ment was observed. The data obtained demonstrate the feasibility of using the Comet assay for detecting induced DNA damage in crops.
IEB authors: Tomáš Gichner