Assessment of the mutagenicity of fractions from s-triazine-treated Zea mays

Jay C. Means, Michael J. Plewa, James M. Gentile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A water-soluble extract from maize plants exposed to 3 s-triazine herbicides (atrazine, simazine and cyanazine) has been shown to be mutagenic in strain TA100 of Salmonella. No mutagenic activity was observed in any control plant extracts using either water or a variety of organic solvents. Gel permeation studied of the extracts suggest that the mutagen(s) are small molecules (< 1000 MW). HPLC fractionation suggests that the mutagens formed from each of the 3 herbicides are similar in polarity and water solubility, eluting in a 50/50 water:methanol fraction. Approximately 89% of 14C-labeled HPLC chromatographable metabolites of atrazine were also associated with this fraction, suggesting a clone chemical link between a labeled but unidentified metabolite and the mutagenic activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)325-336
Number of pages12
JournalMutation Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • (Mutagenicity assessment)
  • Atrazine
  • Cyanazine
  • Simazine
  • Zea mays
  • s-Triazine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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