Evaluation of river water genotoxicity using the piscine micronucleus test

Ergene S., Cavas T., Celik A., Koleli N., Aymak C.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND MOLECULAR MUTAGENESIS, vol.48, no.6, pp.421-429, 2007 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 48 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/em.20291
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.421-429
  • Keywords: river water, genotoxicity, fish, in vivo micronucleus test, nuclear abnormalities, FISH HOPLIAS-MALABARICUS, COMET ASSAY, OREOCHROMIS-NILOTICUS, NUCLEAR ABNORMALITIES, DAMAGE, COPPER, LEAD, INDUCTION, CHROMIUM, METALS
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: No


The Berdan River, which empties into the Mediterranean Sea on the east coast of Turkey, receives discharges of industrial and municipal waste. In the present study, the in vivo piscine micronucleus (MN) test was used to evaluate the genotoxicity of water samples collected from different locations along the Berdan River. Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) were exposed in the laboratory for 2, 4, and 6 days, and micronuclei were evaluated in peripheral blood erythrocytes, gill cells, and caudal fin epithelial cells. A single dose of 5 mg/L cyclophosphamide was used as a positive control. In addition to micronuclei, nuclear abnormalities (NAs), such as binucleated cells and blebbed, notched, and lobed nuclei, were assessed in the erythrocytes, and chemical analyses were carried out to determine the amount of heavy metals in the water samples. MN and NA frequencies were significantly elevated (up to 2- to 3-fold) in fish exposed to river water samples taken downstream of potential discharges, and the elevated responses in gill and fin cells were related to the concentration of heavy metals in the water. MN frequencies (expressed as micronucleated cells/1,000 cells), in both treated and untreated fish, were greatest in gill cells (range: 0.80-3.70), and generally lower in erythrocytes (range: 0.502.80), and fin cells (range: 0.45-1.70). The results of this study indicate that the Berdan River is contaminated with genotoxic pollutants and that the genotoxicity is related to the discharge of wastes into the river water.