Microsatellite instability in Lactuca sativa chronically exposed to cadmium

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Journal Article
Mutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis, 2009, 672 (2), pp. 90 - 94
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Cadmium (Cd) is a cytotoxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic metal. Mutagenesis is indicative of genetic instability and can be assayed by use of microsatellite markers (simple sequence repeats, SSRs). These are tandem-repeated tracts of DNA composed of units that are 1-6 base pairs (bp) long, spread throughout the genome and highly polymorphic. SSRs can be used in the detection of genomic DNA damage and/or mutational events (e.g. deletions, insertions, point mutations). In order to study chronic exposure to cadmium, Lactuca sativa L. seeds were germinated in distilled water and grown on modified Hoagland's medium, both supplemented with 0, 10 and 100 μM Cd(NO3)2. After 28 days of exposure, the plants were harvested to assess shoot and root length and accumulation of cadmium. DNA was extracted from young and expanded leaves and roots in order to analyse microsatellite instability (MSI). Mutagenic effects of cadmium were evaluated on nine microsatellite loci. No MSI was found in leaves, but a 2-bp deletion in one lettuce root SSR was detected among the SSRs that were analysed. Thus, SSR analyses may provide a complementary tool in the assessment of different genotoxic effects of compounds on plants. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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