Author(s): Fatima RA, Ahmad M
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Abstract Allium cepa root length inhibition test is a well recommended bioassay for the evaluation of the toxicity of various polluted waters. The utility of EROD (7-ethoxy resorufin O-deethylase) as a potential biomarker of pesticide pollution was investigated using the Allium cepa system. Onion bulbs exposed to model water samples containing any of the six pesticides viz. 2,4-D, HCB, malathion, carbaryl, DDT and endosulphan were analyzed for EROD activity. The pesticide treatment resulted in the enhanced activity of the enzyme, with carbaryl and HCB causing 63- and 53-fold induction respectively with respect to the control at a dose of 1.2 ppb. The industrial wastewater samples from Ghaziabad city of Northern India resulted in about a 68-fold rise in the EROD activity, whereas the Aligarh samples did not exhibit any change within the statistical limit. These results suggest the presence of the test pesticides in the Ghaziabad sample and their absence in the Aligarh sample. Pesticide analysis in the test water samples by HPLC supported this to a large extent. Presence of cycloheximide in the test system brought down the EROD activity, equal to that of control, suggesting the de novo synthesis of the enzyme following the exposure of Allium cepa to pesticides. These studies suggest that the Allium cepa derived EROD can act as a potential biomarker of certain pesticides since even 1ppb of total/individual pesticides brought about >10-fold induction of EROD. We recommend the assay of EROD in the Allium cepa system as a presumptive test for the detection of these pesticides before using analytical techniques like HPLC.
This article was published in Chemosphere
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation