Genotoxicity of cobalt nanoparticles and ions in Drosophila

Gerard Vales, Eşref Demir, Bülent Kaya, Amadeu Creus, Ricard Marcos

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47 Citations (Scopus)


Nanogenotoxicology is an emergent area of research, relevant for estimating the potential carcinogenic risk of nanomaterials. Since most of the approaches use in vitro studies, and neglecting the whole organism limits the accuracy of the obtained results, we have used Drosophila melanogaster to study the possible genotoxic potential of cobalt nanoparticles (Co NPs). The wing somatic mutation and recombination test has been the test of choice. This test is based on the principle that the loss of heterozygosis and the corresponding expression of the suitable recessive markers, multiple wing hairs and flare-3 can lead to the formation of mutant clone cells in growing up larvae, which are expressed as mutant spots on the wings of adult flies. Co NPs, as well as the ionic form cobalt chloride, were given to third instar larvae through the food, at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 10 mM. The results obtained indicate that both cobalt forms are able to induce significant increases in the frequency of mutant clones. Although at low concentrations only Co NPs were genotoxic, the level of genetic damage obtained at the highest dose tested of cobalt chloride (10 mM) showed a significant higher increase in the frequency of total spots than those observed after the treatment with cobalt nanoparticles. As conclusion, our results indicate that Co NPs were able to induce genotoxic activity in the wing-spot assay of D. melanogaster, mainly via the induction of somatic recombination. The differences observed in the behaviour of the two selected cobalt forms may result from differences in the uptake. © 2013 Informa UK, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-468
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2013


  • Cobalt nanoparticles
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Genotoxicity
  • Somatic recombination
  • Wing-spot assay

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