Biomonitoring of the air with Tradescantia pallida (Rose) D. R. Hunt var purpurea Boom (Commelinaceae)

  • Mateus Cabral Vasconcellos Teixeira Universidade de Taubaté
  • Agnes Barbério Universidade de Taubaté
Keywords: Tradescantia pallida, micronuclei, air pollution


The population growth and the comfort generated by progress have greatly contributed with the increase in the air pollution, making the air in several urban centers polluted by substances that are harmful to human being. This study characterized the air quality in the city of Taubaté, Vale do Paraíba-SP using biomonitoring with Tradescantia pallida (Rose) D. R. Hunt purpurea Boom (Commelinaceae). The study was developed in a period of 10 months (September/2010 to June/2011) in five locations (Rodovia Presidente Dutra – heavy vehicle traffic; Estiva – residential area; Parque Aeroporto – industrial area); Campus Bom Conselho – area in the city with heavy vehicle traffic and Agronomy – rural area. Samples were collected on a weekly basis from young inflorescences of exposed plants. After the inflorescences were collected, they were fixed in an absolute ethanol-glacial acetic acid (3:1) solution for 24 h, transferred to ethanol 70% solution and maintained under refrigeration. They were submitted to coloration with acetic carmine and the number of micronucleus was quantified in approximately 300 tetrads for each inflorescence, and slides were prepared with 10 inflorescences/week for each point of study. The average and standard deviations were: Dutra (2.24 ± 1.58), Estiva (2.07 ± 1.33), Parque Aeroporto (1.47 ± 1.05), Bom Conselho (1.42 ± 0.90) and Agronomy (0.82 ± 0.80). Although Taubaté area is a region experiencing urban growth, the data revealed that the air in the city has good quality. Maintaining this balance is very important, requires effort and periodic measurements, and, for this, biomonitoring is a fast, cheap and effective method.

Author Biographies

Mateus Cabral Vasconcellos Teixeira, Universidade de Taubaté
Agnes Barbério, Universidade de Taubaté
Biologia, Citologia, Genética, Meio Ambiente