The mutagenicity of two pesticides, propoxur and methyl parathion was evaluated by using polytene chromosomes of Anopheles stephensi. The results were based on the frequency of various structural aberrations encountered in the polytene chromosomes of the larvae treated with LC20 of propoxur and methyl parathion separately. Propoxur induced a total of 67 aberrations as against 15 in the controls while methyl parathion induced 53 aberrations as against 13 in the controls. These aberrations were dominated by inversions, translocations, deletions, ectopic pairing, asynapses, breaks, fusions and induced puffing. The frequency of propoxur induced aberrations was highest in chromosome 3R followed by 2R, 3L, 2L and X-chromosome. Methyl parathion induced highest number of aberrations in 2R followed by 2L, 3R, 3L and X-chromosomes. This study suggests that larval polytene chromosomes are sensitive indicators of pesticide genotoxicity in which both propoxur and methyl parathion are significantly chromotoxic for the genome of a mosquito taken as an experimental insect.
Anopheles stephensi, Methyl parathion, Mutagenicity, Polytene chromosomes, Propoxur
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