Micronucleus Assay in Plants to Monitor Environmental Pollution In Situ
During vegetation seasons samples of 15 vascular plant species: Achillea millefolium, Artemisia vulgaris, Avena sativa, Crepis tectorum, Dactylis glomerata, Festuca gigantea, Potentilla reptans, Ranunculus acris, R. lanuginosus, Rumex acetosa, R. acetosella, R. conglomeratus, R. obtusifolius, Vicia angustifolia and V. hirsuta were collected in Fuel Storage Station, Chemical Fibre Factory "Wistom" in Tomaszow Mazowiecki, Sewage Treatment Plant in Sulejow and in Piotrkow Trybunalski. Genotoxicity of pollution caused by them was analysed using micronucleus assays in pollen mother cells and root tip cells. Control material was collected in the Tatra and Babia Gora National Parks. Numerous abnormalities in morphology of plants growing in polluted areas were found. The cytogenetical analyses revealed significant positive correlation between the micronuclei number and the presence of heavy metals in soil. Interestingly, pollen mother cells (germ line) have been found more susceptible to DNA damages as compared with root tip cells (somatic one). Based on the above results advantages and usefulness of genotoxicity assays that use plants to monitor environment pollution under in situ conditions were substantiated. Methods of monitoring in situ are used among others for analysis of morphological and anatomical changes in plants and of an impact of various pollutants on structure and organization of plant genome. DNA damage can be detected by including genotoxicity assays into in situ monitoring methods.
Beata Kosmider 1, Regina Osiecka 1, Jan T. Sicinski2
1 Department of Cytogenetics and Plant Molecular Biology,