Detection of cytogenetic and DNA damage in peripheral erythrocytes of goldfish (Carassius auratus) exposed to a glyphosate formulation using the micronucleus test and the comet assay

Mutagenesis. 2007 Jul;22(4):263-8. doi: 10.1093/mutage/gem012. Epub 2007 Apr 10.


Glyphosate is a widely used broad-spectrum weed control agent. In the present study, an in vivo study on the genotoxic effects of a technical herbicide (Roundup) containing isopropylamine salt of glyphosate was carried out on freshwater goldfish Carassius auratus. The fish were exposed to three doses of glyphosate formulation (5, 10 and 15 ppm). Cyclophosphamide at a single dose of 5 mg/l was used as positive control. Analysis of micronuclei, nuclear abnormalities and DNA damage were performed on peripheral erythrocytes sampled at intervals of 48, 96 and 144 h posttreatment. Our results revealed significant dose-dependent increases in the frequencies of micronuclei, nuclear abnormalities as well as DNA strand breaks. Our findings also confirmed that the alkaline comet assay and nuclear deformations in addition to micronucleus test on fish erythrocytes in vivo are useful tools in determining the potential genotoxicity of commercial herbicides.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Comet Assay
  • Cytogenetics
  • DNA Damage
  • Erythrocytes / drug effects*
  • Erythrocytes / metabolism
  • Erythrocytes / ultrastructure
  • Glycine / administration & dosage
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / toxicity
  • Goldfish* / blood
  • Goldfish* / genetics
  • Herbicides / administration & dosage
  • Herbicides / toxicity*
  • Micronucleus Tests
  • Mutagens / administration & dosage
  • Mutagens / toxicity*


  • Herbicides
  • Mutagens
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine