Plant Dependent Mutation Assays

  • James M. Gentile
  • Michael J. Plewa
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (volume 6)


Considering the involvement of chemical pesticides in modern agricultural practice, the determination of the compatibility of these agents with the environment and the public health is exceedingly important. During the last decade a new environmental hazard has been recognized. This hazard is that of environmental mutagens. These physical or chemical agents, that have the ability to alter the genetic material or the proper functioning of the genetic material, pose a serious long-term threat to man and other living organisms. A new branch of toxicology, genetic toxicology, has evolved to detect, investigate, manage, and define the risks due to human exposure to environmental mutagens. Depending upon the ontogenetic stage of an individual when exposed, an environmental mutagen can exert teratogenic effects, cause mutations involving germinal cells, Induce coronary artery disease, affect the aging process, or Induce mutations of somatic cells that may become neoplastic. As geneticists we are alarmed that there may be large amounts of agents released into our environment that can be deleterious not only to an individual but also to his progeny, generation upon generation. We anticipate that adverse genetic effects can be created in the human species by inadvertent exposure to mutagens. It is, therefore, obvious that the induction of genetic damage by the use of mutagens applied to the environment should be avoided.


Sodium Azide Plant Activation Maleic Hydrazide Mutagenic Property Jerusalem Artichoke Tuber 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. Gentile
    • 1
  • Michael J. Plewa
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyHope CollegeHollandUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Environmental StudiesUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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