Cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of pesticides Verita WG and Actara 25 WG on sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and onion (Allium cepa L.)

Teodora Popova, Penka Vasileva, Ivan Stoyanov, Iliyana Ilieva, Teodora Staykova and Evgeniya Ivanova
University of Plovdiv “Paisii Hilendarski”, Department of Developmental Biology, Faculty of Biology , 4000 Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Abstract

Popova, T., Vasileva, P., Stoyanov, I., Ilieva, I., Staykova, T. & Ivanova, E. (2021). Cytotoxic and mutagenic effects of pesticides Verita WG and Actara 25 WG on sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) and onion (Allium cepa L.). Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 27 (3), 569–574

The aim of the present study is to investigate the potential mutagenic and cytotoxic effects of insecticide Actara and fungicide Verita in the root meristems of onion (Allium cepa L.) and sweet pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). Three concentrations of each of these pesticides were investigated (stock solutions used in agricultural practices, and 10- and 20- times lower concentrations). The results showed that the onion and sweet pepper have different sensitivity towards Actara and Verita. The Verita 0.15% solution (recommended for agricultural usage), significantly reduces the pepper seeds germination. Similar effects in pepper seeds were found after treatment with other concentrations of the tested pesticides. In contrast, the treated onion seeds showed overall increased germination.  Mitosis-depressive action of both pesticides was found (strongly expressed in onion after Verita 0.15% treatment and pepper after Verita-lowest concentration and Actara 0.02%). Different chromosomal aberrations were observed in the cells: anaphase/telophase bridges, lagging chromosomes and/or chromosome fragments, and micronuclei. Both studied pesticides have a genotoxic effect in the concentrations used in practice as well as in concentration lower than recommended. This indicates that even minimal residual amounts of them, accumulated in the soil, can damage plant chromosomes and could have a real mutagenic effect.

Keywords: pesticides; chromosomal aberrations; micronuclei; cytotoxicity; vegetables; Capsicum annuum; Allium cepa

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