Evaluation of the genotoxicity of four herbicides in the wing spot test of Drosophila melanogaster using two different strains.
In the present study, the herbicides bentazone, molinate, thiobencarb and trifluralin were evaluated for mutagenic and recombinagenic effects using the wing spot test of Drosophila melanogaster (somatic mutation and recombination test, SMART). Both standard (ST) and high-bioactivation (HB) fly crosses were used, the latter cross is characterised by a high sensitivity to promutagens and procarcinogens. Three-day-old larvae, transheterozygous for the multiple wing hairs (mwh, 3-0.3) and flare-3 (flr(3), 3-38.8) genes, were chronically fed with six different concentrations of each herbicide. Feeding ended with pupation of the surviving larvae and the genetic changes induced in somatic cells of the wing's imaginal discs lead to the formation of mutant clones on the wing blade. Point mutation, chromosome breakage and mitotic recombination produce single spots; while twin spots are produced only by mitotic recombination. Bentazone, usually considered as a non-mutagen, gave positive results in the wing spot test with the high-bioactivation cross. Molinate, about which information on mutagenic effects is inconclusive, gave positive responses in both the standard and the high-bioactivation crosses, while the other thiocarbamate, thiobencarb, gave positive results only in the standard cross and at the highest concentration tested (10 mM). Finally, trifluralin, one of the most widely studied herbicides for genotoxic effects, gave positive results in the wing spot test with both crosses. Apart from the interest of the results found in the genotoxic evaluation of the four selected herbicides, our results also contribute to extend the existing database on the Drosophila wing spot test, and corroborate the utility of the use of high-bioactivation strains for the genotoxic evaluation of xenobiotics.