Mutagenicity testing of nine herbicides and pesticides currently used in agriculture

Environ Mol Mutagen. 1995;25(2):148-53. doi: 10.1002/em.2850250208.


Nine herbicides and pesticides were tested for their mutagenicity using the Drosophila sex-linked recessive lethal mutation assay. These are Ambush, Treflan, Blazer, Roundup, 2,4-D Amine, Crossbow, Galecron, Pramitol, and Pondmaster. All of these are in wide use at present. Unlike adult feeding and injection assays, the larvae were allowed to grow in medium with the test chemical, thereby providing long and chronic exposure to the sensitive and dividing diploid cells, i.e., mitotically active spermatogonia and sensitive spermatocytes. All chemicals induced significant numbers of mutations in at least one of the cell types tested. Some of these compounds were found to be negative in earlier studies. An explanation for the difference in results is provided. It is probable that different germ cell stages and treatment regimens are suitable for different types of chemicals. larval treatment may still be valuable and can complement adult treatment in environmental mutagen testing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / toxicity
  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Chlorphenamidine / toxicity
  • Drosophila melanogaster / drug effects*
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives
  • Glycine / toxicity
  • Herbicides / toxicity*
  • Insecticides / toxicity*
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Male
  • Mutagenicity Tests
  • Mutagens / toxicity*
  • Nitrobenzoates / toxicity
  • Permethrin
  • Pyrethrins / toxicity
  • Spermatocytes / drug effects
  • Spermatogonia / drug effects
  • Spermatozoa / drug effects*
  • Triazines / toxicity
  • Trifluralin / toxicity
  • X Chromosome


  • Herbicides
  • Insecticides
  • Mutagens
  • Nitrobenzoates
  • Pyrethrins
  • Triazines
  • prometone
  • 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid
  • glyphosate
  • Permethrin
  • 2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxyacetic Acid
  • Trifluralin
  • Chlorphenamidine
  • acifluorfen
  • Glycine