An evaluation of the genotoxic potential of glyphosate

Fundam Appl Toxicol. 1988 Apr;10(3):537-46. doi: 10.1016/0272-0590(88)90300-4.


The potential genotoxicity of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, was tested in a variety of well-established in vitro and in vivo assays including the Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli WP-2 reversion assays, recombination (rec-assay) with Bacillus subtilis. Chinese hamster ovary cell gene mutation assay at the hypoxanthine/guanine phosphoribosyl transferase gene locus, hepatocyte primary culture/DNA repair assay, and in vivo cytogenetics assay in rat bone marrow. No genotoxic activity was observed in the assays performed. The data suggest that glyphosate should not pose a genetic risk to man.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow / drug effects
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • DNA Repair / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / drug effects
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Female
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / toxicity
  • Herbicides / toxicity*
  • Liver / cytology
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Mutagens*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / drug effects
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics


  • Herbicides
  • Mutagens
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine