Surface water used for drinking-water preparation requires continuous monitoring for the presence of toxic compounds. For monitoring of genotoxic compounds fish models have been developed, such as the Eastern mudminnow (Umbra pygmaea L.) because of its clearly visible 22 meta-centric chromosomes. It was demonstrated in the late seventies that Rhine water was able to induce chromosome aberrations and sister chromatid exchange in this fish species. Although in vitro mutagenicity studies of the RIWA (Rhine Water Works, The Netherlands) have shown that the genotoxicity of the river Rhine steadily decreased during the last decades, there is still concern about the presence of some residual mutagenicity. In addition, in most studies the water samples have been tested only in in vitro test systems such as the Salmonella-microsome test. For this reason, and in order to be able to make a comparison with the water quality 27 years ago, a study was performed with the same experimental design as before in order to measure the effect of Rhine water on the induction of SCE in the Eastern mudminnow. As a new test system the single cell gel electrophoresis assay (Comet assay) was performed. Fish were exposed to Rhine water or to groundwater for 3 and 11 days in flow-through aquaria. Fish exposed for 11 days to Rhine water had a significantly higher number of SCE and an increased comet tail-length compared with control fish exposed to groundwater. After exposure for three days to Rhine water there was no difference in SCE and a slightly increased comet tail-length compared with the control. It was concluded that genotoxins are still present in the river Rhine, but that the genotoxic potential has markedly decreased compared with 27 years ago. Furthermore, the Comet assay appears to be a sensitive assay to measure the genotoxic potential of surface waters in fish.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Mutation research. Genetic toxicology and environmental mutagenesis|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|
- sister-chromatid exchanges
- ethyl methanesulfonate
- genetic toxicology
- invivo exposure