Induction of DNA damage in the peripheral blood of zebrafish (Danio rerio) by an agricultural organophosphate pesticide, monocrotophos

Document Type : Original Article


Genetic Toxicology Laboratory, Department of Zoology, Goa University, Goa, 403206, India



The use of organophosphate pesticides (OPs) in agricultural practices in India has gained popularity due to their broad spectrum, low cost and high potency. Monocrotophos (an OP) which is a systemic and contact broad-spectrum cholinesterase inhibitor is being widely used in India. However, its use entails the damage to other non-target organisms such as fish. In the present study, zebrafish (Danio rerio) were exposed to various doses of monocrotophos (0.125, 0.625 and 1.25 μL/L) and genotoxicity studies were carried out employing the comet assay and micronucleus test in the peripheral blood of these fish after 24, 48 and 72 h of exposure. Significant DNA damage in the form of % tail DNA and micronuclei was observed in all the treated fish compared to the control. Both % tail DNA and micronuclei frequency were found to increase significantly as the concentration increased. DNA damage was also observed at all the time intervals for all treatments except in the 0.125 μL/L-treated group. A positive correlation was also observed between the comet assay and micronucleus test. The study thus suggests the use of zebrafish as an experimental model to study the genotoxic effects of agricultural pesticides using the comet assay and micronucleus test.