The activation of chemicals into mutagens by green plants

M. J. Plewa, J. M. Gentile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The studies discussed and the data presented in this article indicate that plants can activate promutagenic chemicals into mutagens. Also, some chemical mutagens can be deactivated by plant tissues. The data suggest that a class of plant promutagens distinct from mammalian promutagens may exist. The activation of agricultural chemicals into mutagens poses possible risks to the public health, and this problem must be studied further. Plants are excellent in situ monitors for mutagens and promutagens. The life cycles of many species allow their use in chronic assays of the environment for periods of weeks to months. We believe that the use of plant genetic assays will continue to make a contribution to the understanding of the presence and fate of environmental mutagens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-420
Number of pages20
JournalChemical Mutagens
VolumeVol. 7
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • General Chemistry


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