Analysis of Genotoxicity of Agricultural Soils and Metal (Fe, Mn, and Zn) Accumulation in Crops

  • Sandip Singh BhattiEmail author
  • Vasudha Sambyal
  • Avinash Kaur NagpalEmail author
Research paper


Metals such as Fe, Mn, and Zn act as micronutrients for plants, but at excessive levels, these pose genotoxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic risks to living beings. The present study was planned to assess the levels of Fe, Mn and Zn in intensively cultivated agricultural soils and crops (berseem, mustard, sugarcane, and sorghum) from six villages situated around the rivers Beas and Sutlej in Punjab, India during pre and post-monsoon seasons. It was observed that the levels of Zn exceeded the maximum permissible limits in some crop samples. Contamination factor calculated for metal contamination indicated high contamination of soil samples with Zn. Onion (Allium cepa) root chromosomal aberration assay revealed high genotoxic potential of soil samples which can be attributed to significant metal contents in soils. The soil-to-plant metal bioaccumulation factor was found to be highest for Zn for mustard in pre-monsoon (2.09) and sorghum in post-monsoon (1.23) seasons. Such high bioaccumulation of Zn in these crops can lead to toxic effects in animals and humans consuming these crops. Thus, steps must be taken to reduce the level of Zn and other metals in the soils of these areas.


Contamination Crops Genotoxicity Metals Soils 



The authors acknowledge UGC for financial support under UPE, CPEPA and DRS-SAP programmes and Head, Department of Botanical and Environmental Sciences, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar for laboratory facilities.


This work was supported by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi India with Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship for SC/ST students under Grant No. “F1-17.1/2012-13/RGNF-2012-13-SC-PUN-22652/(SAIII/Website)”, awarded to Sandip Singh Bhatti (First author).


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Copyright information

© University of Tehran 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Botanical and Environmental SciencesGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia
  2. 2.Department of Human GeneticsGuru Nanak Dev UniversityAmritsarIndia

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