Ioana Nicolae

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THE EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION ON GENETIC MATERIAL INTEGRITY IN BUFFALOES

Ioana Nicolae, A.T. Bogdan, A. Bota, Nicoleta Isfan, L. Harceaga, Maria Serdaru, Cristina Petrescu, Daniela Vidmichi

Abstract
This paper shows that animals may be used as biological indicators of environmental pollution by using cytogenetic tests, such as those we applied to buffaloes. In the present study we report the preliminary results of our investigation concerning the increases of SCEs found in the buffalo females with chromosome fragility expressed by many gaps, breaks and fragments. In order to give a measure of the biological effect of pollutants on genetic material integrity, the SCEs test has been applied. The cytogenetic investigation carried out on a group of 14 subfertile females presented a higher percentage of abnormal cells (gaps, chromatid breakages, chromosome breaks and fragments) comparative with the normal females. We found significant differences between the normal females and the females with chromosomal fragility. The number of SCEs/cell varied from 11 to 17 and even 21 in some cells. The mean number of SCEs/cell in the 14 subfertile females was higher (X=13.9) than those observed in the control group (X=7.3). The results of chemical analyses of forages used for animal feeding revealed the presence of aflatoxin at higher doses (100,36ppb) then permitted (≤4,0ppb). Although it is still difficult to establish whether the high chromosomal fragility we found is related to the effect of aflatoxin from forages, we must take into consideration that some of toxicity effects occurs at cellular level and it is well known that aflatoxin causes DNA changes, cell deregulation, cellular changes and death.

Key words: environmental pollution, chromosome fragility, buffaloes