Evaluation of the antimutagenic activity and mode of action of the fructooligosaccharide inulin in the meristematic cells of Allium cepa culture

Genet Mol Res. 2014 Feb 14;13(3):4808-19. doi: 10.4238/2014.February.14.14.


This study evaluated the mutagenicity and antimutagenicity of inulin in a chromosomal aberration assay in cultures of the meristematic cells of Allium cepa. The treatments evaluated were as follows: negative control--seed germination in distilled water; positive control--aqueous solution of methyl methanesulfonate (10 μg/mL MMS); mutagenicity--aqueous solutions of inulin (0.015, 0.15, and 1.50 μg/mL); and antimutagenicity--associations between MMS and the different inulin concentrations. The antimutagenicity protocols established were pre-treatment, simultaneous simple, simultaneous with pre-incubation, and post-treatment. The damage reduction percentage (DR%) was 43.56, 27.77, and 55.92% for the pre-treatment; -31.11, 18.51, and 7.03% for the simultaneous simple; 30.43, 19.12, and 21.11% for the simultaneous with pre-incubation; and 64.07, 42.96, and 53.70% for the post-treatment. The results indicated that the most effective treatment for inhibiting damages caused by MMS was the post-treatment, which was followed by the pre-treatment, suggesting activity by bioantimutagenesis and desmutagenesis. The Allium cepa assay was demonstrated to be a good screening test for this type of activity because it is easy to perform, has a low cost, and shows DR% that is comparable to that reported studies that evaluated the prevention of DNA damage in mammals by inulin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antimutagenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromosome Aberrations / drug effects*
  • DNA Damage
  • Inulin / pharmacology*
  • Meristem / cytology
  • Meristem / drug effects
  • Meristem / metabolism
  • Methyl Methanesulfonate / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Methyl Methanesulfonate / pharmacology*
  • Mitotic Index
  • Mutagens / pharmacology*
  • Onions / cytology
  • Onions / drug effects*
  • Onions / metabolism


  • Antimutagenic Agents
  • Mutagens
  • Inulin
  • Methyl Methanesulfonate