Bioassays based on higher plants as excellent dosimeters for ecotoxicity monitoring: A review

Munawar Iqbal, Mazhar Abbas, Arif Nazir and Ahmad Zaman Qamar

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All sorts of pollution on the planet can be traced back to development of industries and the most important among them is water pollution. Clean technologies, management practices and regular monitoring of effluents could be helpful to minimize the contamination of watersheds. Allium cepa (A. cepa) has been recognized as a promising genetic model to detect the toxicity of industrial wastewater, contaminated soil, river water, nuclear contamination and even for those systems which are considered non toxic. A. cepa is distinguished as a low cost test, easy to handle and sensitive to both in vivo and in vitro models. It offers the detection of damages in genetic material quantitatively and the results can be generalized for other biological and ecological systems. Moreover, the pollutants can be classified on the basis of this test present in industrial effluents and their mechanism of action on genetic material. This review focuses on the studies undertaken to evaluate the toxicity of industrial wastewater, contaminated river and soils.