Induction of cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of Guandu River waters in the Allium cepa system

Jennifer Vieira Gomes, Jéssica Tamara dos Santos Teixeira, Viviane Moreira de Lima, Helcio Resende Borba


The Guandu River is the main source of water supply for the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro and has been facing serious environmental problems due to increasing population and industrial pollution, as well as the presence of polluted tributaries. This study analyzed the cytotoxic and genotoxic potential of the Guandu River’s waters, through the use of the Allium cepa test system. Collection points were chosen at the greatest confluences of pollutant sources. The sampling included two different seasons: the rainy season (January and February) and the dry season (June and July). The analyses of 5000 cells per treatment showed that all the points studied had some degree of cytotoxicity and/or genotoxicity. Two sampling locations, which receive major influxes from the polluted waters of the Poços/Queimados and Cabuçu/Ipiranga Rivers, stood out for the strong presence of micronuclei, sticky chromosomes, mitotic spindle abnormalities, necrotic cells and nucleolar changes compared to the negative control. At least two locations also found changes in the mitotic index. The existence of variations in the number of cytotoxic and genotoxic changes between periods of rain and drought indicates that the cytotoxic and genotoxic potential of the water pollutants varies according to time, depending on the discharges of the tributary rivers and the increase of contaminated effluents. The results highlight the importance of bio monitoring to assist managers in the control of effluent discharge.


Allium cepa; cytotoxicity; genotoxicity

Revista Ambiente & Água. ISSN:1980-993X  DOI:10.4136/1980-993X



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