Micronucleus test in fish for in situ evaluation of the Sinos River water quality, in Brazil





Water pollution, Genotoxicity, Bryconamericus iheringii


The Sinos River basin is impacted by industrial and agricultural activities, as well as by low rates of urban wastewater treatment. The purpose of this study was to monitor de Sinos River water quality using the micronucleus test in fish and the analysis of water physicochemical parameters. Bryconamericus iheringii specimens were captured in December 2013 (summer) and July 2014 (winter) at two sites located in the Sinos River: Caraá, in the upper section of the basin, and Parobé, in the middle section. After capture, animals were immediately killed and blood samples were collected for the micronucleus test. No significant differences were observed in micronucleus frequencies between sites and sampling periods. However, in the summer, nuclear abnormalities frequencies observed in Parobé were significantly higher than in Caraá. A higher frequency of nuclear abnormalities was also found in fish captured in Caraá during winter, in comparison with frequencies found in the summer. The results for the water physicochemical analysis showed values of total phosphorous, aluminum, lead, copper and iron above the allowed limits established by the Brazilian legislation. The nuclear abnormalities induction found in the present study may be associated to the presence of cytogenotoxic substances in the water.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Leonardo Airton Ressel Simões, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS

Graduado em Ciências Biológicas - Licenciatura pela Universidade Feevale (2017). 

Thaís Dalzochio, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS

Doutorado em Qualidade Ambiental, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS

Angélica Goldoni, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS

Doutorado em Qualidade Ambiental, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS

Mateus Santos de Souza, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS

Possui graduação em Ciências Biológicas - Bacharelado - pela Universidade Feevale (2017)

Gabriela Zimmermann Prado Rodrigues, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS

Doutorado em andamento em Qualidade Ambiental, Universidade Feevale, FEEVALE, Brasil.

Ismael Evandro Petry, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS

Graduação em Ciências Biológicas.
Universidade Feevale, FEEVALE, Brasil.

Günther Gehlen, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS

Professor adjunto da Universidade Feevale 

Luciano Basso da Silva, Universidade Feevale, Novo Hamburgo, RS

Professor titular e docente do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Qualidade Ambiental e do Mestrado Acadêmico em Toxicologia e Análises Toxicológicas da Universidade Feevale. 


ALLOWAY BJ. Heavy metals in soils. Trace metals and metalloids in soils and their bioavailability. 3rd ed. Netherlands: Springer Netherlands; 2013.

AL-SABTI K. Handbook of genotoxic effects and fish chromosomes. Ljubljiana: J. Stefan Institute; 1991.

AL-SABTI K, METCALFE CD. Fish micronuclei for assessing genotoxicity in water. Mutation Research. 1995;343:121-135.


COURTENAY SC et al. Morphological and neurotoxicological fi ndings in tropical freshwater fi sh (Atyanax sp.) after waterborne and acute exposure to water soluble fraction (WSF) of crude oil. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 2004;46:244-253.

AMERICAN PUBLIC HEALTH ASSOCIATION, American Water Works Association, Water Environmental Federation. Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. Washinton: APHA – American Public Health Association, 2005.

AYLLÓN F, GARCIA-VAZQUEZ E. Induction of micronuclei and other nuclear abnormalities in European minnow Phoxinus phoxinus and mollie Poecilia latipinna: an assessment of the fish micronucleus test. Mutation Research. 2000;467:177-186.

BERGAMASCHI B, RODRIGUES MT, SILVA JVS, KLUGE M, LUZ RB, FLECK JD et al. Moving beyond classical markers of water quality: detection of enteric viruses and genotoxicity in water of the Sinos River. Brazilian Journal of Biology. 2015;75(2):63-67.

BIANCHI E, GOLDONI A, TRINTINAGLIA L, LESSING G, SILVA CEM, NASCIMENTO CA et al. Evaluation of genotoxicity and cytotoxicity of water samples from the Sinos River Basin, southern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology. 2015;75(2):68-74.

BLUME KK, MACEDO JC, MENEGUZZI A, SILVA LB, QUEVEDO DM, RODRIGUES MAR. Water quality assessment of the Sinos River, Southern Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology. 2010;70(4):1185-1193.

BOLOGNESI C, HAYASHI M. Micronucleus assay in aquatic animals. Mutagenesis. 2011;26:205-213.

BRITSKI HA, SATO Y, ROSA ABS. Manual de identificação de peixes da região de Três Marias, com chave e identificação para os peixes da bacia do Rio São Francisco. Brasília: Ministério da Irrigação – CODEVASF; 1998.

BRUNETTI R, MAJONE F, GOLA I, BELTRAME C. The micronucleus test: examples of application to marine ecology. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 1988;44:65-68.

BÜCKER A, CARVALHO W, ALVES-GOMES JA. Avaliação da mutagênese e genotoxicidade em Eigenmannia virescens (Teleostei: Gymnotiformes) expostos ao benzeno. Acta Amazonica. 2006;36(3):357-364.

BUENO-KRAWCZYK ACD, GUILOSKI IC, PIANCINI LDS, AZEVEDO JC, RAMSDORF WA, IDE AH et al. Multibiomarker in fish to evaluate a river used to water public supply. Chemosphere. 2015;135:257-264.

BÜHLER D, MARINOWIC DR, RODRIGUES MAS, SILVA LB. Evaluation of genotoxicity and cytotoxicity of treated tannery wastewater in Southern Brazil. International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management. 2012;15:114-123.

CARRASCO KR, TILBURY KL, MAYERS MS. Assessment of the piscine micronuclei test as in situ biological indicator of chemical contaminants effects. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 1990;47:2123–2136.

ÇAVAS T, ERGENE-GOZUKARA S. Evaluation of the genotoxic potential of lambda-cyhalothrin using nuclear and nucleolar biomarkers on fish cells. Mutation Research. 2003;534(1–2):93–99.

COSTA PF, SCHULZ UH. The fish community as na indicator of biotic integrity of the streams in the Sinos River basin, Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology. 2010;70:1195-1205.

DALZOCHIO T, SIMÕES LAR, SOUZA MS, RODRIGUES GZP, PETRY IE, ANDRIGUETTI NB et al. Water quality parameters, biomarkers and metal bioaccumulation in native fish captured in the Ilha River, southern Brazil. Chemosphere. 2017;189:609-618.

DALZOCHIO T, RODRIGUES GZP, SIMÕES LAR, SOUZA MS, PETRY IE, ANDRIGUETTI NB et al. In situ monitoring of the Sinos River, southern Brazil: water quality parameters, biomarkers, and metal bioaccumulation in fish. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 2018;25(10):9485-9500.

DUARTE ID, DIAS MC, DAVID JAO, MATSUMOTO ST. A qualidade da água da Lagoa Jacuném (Espírito Santo, Brasil) em relação a aspectos genotóxicos e mutagênicos, mensurados respectivamente pelo ensaio do cometa e teste do micronúcleo em peixes da espécie Oreochromis niloticus. Revista Brasileira de Biociências. 2012;10:211-219.

EGITO LCM, MEDEIROS MD, DE MEDEIROS SRB, AGNEZ-LIMA LF. Cytotoxic and genotoxic potential of surface water from the Pitimbu river, northeastern/ RN Brazil. Genetics and Molecular Biology. 2007;30:435-441.

FIGUEIREDO JAS, DRUMM E, RODRIGUES MAS, SPILKI FR. The Rio dos Sinos watershed: an economic and social space and its interface with environmental status. Brazilian Journal of Biology. 2010;70:1131-1136.

FLORA S, VIGÁRIO L, D’AGOSTINI E, CAMOIRANO A, BAGNASCO M, BENNICELLI C et al. Multiple genotoxicity biomarkers in fish exposed in situ to polluted river water. Mutation Research. 1993;3019:167-177.

FLOREA AM, BUSSELBERG D. Occurrence, use and potential toxic effects of metals and metal compounds. Biometals. 2006;19:419-427.

FUNDAÇÃO ESTADUAL DE PROTEÇÃO AMBIENTAL HENRIQUE LUIS ROESSLER - FEPAM. Qualidade das águas do Rio dos Sinos: monitoramento da qualidade de água. Porto Alegre. 1999.

GOLDONI A, GOLFETO C, TEIXEIRA JB, BLUMM G, WILHELM CM, TELÖKEN F et al. Cytotoxic and genotoxic evaluation and chemical characterization of sewage treated using activated sludge and a floating emergent-macrophyte filter in a municipal wastewater treatment plant: a case study in Southern Brazil. Environmental earth sciences. 2014;72(5):1503-1509.

GRAVATO C, SANTOS MA. β-Naohthiflavone liver EROD and erytrocytic nuclear abnormality induction in juvenile Dicentrarchus labrax. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 2002;52:69-74.

HOSHINA MM, ANGELIS DF, MARIN-MORALES MA. Induction of micronucleus and nuclea ralterations in fish (Oreochromis niloticus) bya petroleum refinery effluent. Mutation Research. 2008;656:44-48.

KIRSCHBAUM AA, SERIANI R, RANZANI-PAIVA MJT, ABESSA DMS, PEREIRA CDS. Cytogenotoxicity biomarkers in fat snook Centropomus parallelus from Cananéia and São Vicente estuaries, SP. Genetics and Molecular Biology. 2009;32:151-154.

KONZEN GB, FIGUEIREDO JAS, QUEVEDO DM. History of water quality parameters – a study on the Sinos River/Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology. 2015;75:1-10.

LEMOS CT, RODEL PM, TERRA NR, OLIVEIRA NCD, ERDTMANN B. River water genotoxicity evaluation using micronucleus assay in fish erythrocytes. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 2007;66:391-401.

LIMA LBD, MORAIS PB, ANDRADE RLT, MATTOS LV, MORON SE. Use of biomarkers to evaluate the ecological risk of xenobiotics associated with agriculture. Environmental Pollution. 2018;237:611-624.

MATOS LA, CUNHA AC, SOUZA AA, MARANHÃO JP, SANTOA NR, GONÇALVES MMC et al. The influence of heavy metals on toxicogenetic damage in a Brazilian tropical river. Chemosphere. 2017;185:852-859.

OHE T, WATANABE T, WAKABAYASHI K. Mutagens in surface waters: a review. Mutation Research. 2004;567:109-149.


pollution of environmental compartments in the Sinos River Valley, RS, Brazil: geochemical-biogeochemical characterization and remote sensing. Water Air Soil Pollution. 2008;192:183-198.

PACHECO M, SANTOS MA. Induction of liver EROD and erythrocytic nuclear abnormalities by cyclophosphamide and PAHs in Anguilla anguilla L. Eecotoxicology and Environmental Safety. 1998;40:71-76.

PANTALEÃO SM, ALCÂNTARA AV, ALVES JPH, SPANÓ MA. The piscine micronucleus test to assess the impact of pollution on the Japaratuba river in Brazil. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. 2006;47:219-224.

PETRY AC, SCHULZ UH. Longitudinal changes and indicator species of the fish fauna in the subtropical Sinos River, Brazil. Journal of Fish Biology. 2006;69:272-290.

RAND GM. Fundamentals of Aquatic Toxicology: effects, environmental fate and risk assessment. Washington: CRCPress; 1995.

SÁNCHEZ-GALÁN S, LINDE AR, IZQUIERDO JI, GARCÍA-VÁSQUEZ E. Micronuclei and fluctuating asymmetry in brown trout (Salmo trutta): complementary methods to biomonitor freshwater ecosystems. Mutation Research. 1998;412:219-225.

SCALON MCS, RECHENMACHER C, SIEBEL AM, KAYSER ML, RODRIGUES MT, MALUF SW et al. Evaluation of Sinos River water genotoxicity using the comet assay in fish. Brazilian Journal of Biology. 2010;70:1217-1222.

SERIANI R, ABESSA DMS, KIRSCHBAUM AA, PEREIRA CDS, RANZANI-PAIVA MJT, ASSUNÇÃO A et al. Water toxicity and cyto-genotoxicity biomarkers in the fish Oreochromis niloticus (CICHLIDAE). Journal of the Brazilian Society of Ecotoxicology. 2012;7:67-72.

SIDDIQUI AH, AHMAD M. The Salmonella mutagenicity of industrial, surface and ground water samples of Aligarh region of India. Mutation Research. 2003;541:21-29.

SILVA J, HEUSER V, ANDRADE V. Biomonitoramento Ambiental. In: Silva J, Erdtmann B, Henriques J.A.P. Genética Toxicológica. Porto Alegre: Alcance; 2003. p. 167-178.

SOUZA TS, FONTANETTI CS. Micronucleus test and observation of nuclear alterations in erythrocytes of Nile tilapia exposed to waters affected by refinery effluent. Mutation Research.


UDROIU I. The micronucleus test in piscine erythrocytes. Aquatic Toxicology. 2006;79:201-204.

VALKO M., RHODES CJ, MONCOL J, IZAKOVIC M, MAZUR M. Free radicals, metals and antioxidants in oxidative stress-induced cancer. Chemico-Biological Interact. 2006;160:1-40.

VIEIRA CED, COSTA PG, LUNARDELLI B, OLIVEIRA LF, CABRERA LC, RISSO WE et al. Multiple biomarker responses in Prochilodus lineatus subjected to short-term in situ exposure to streams from agricultal areas in Southern Brazil. Science of the Total Environment. 2016;542:44-56.

WIRZINGER G, WELTJE L, GERCKEN J, SORDYL H. Genotoxic damage in field collected three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus L.): a suitable biomonitoring tool?. Mutation Research. 2007;628(1):19-30.




How to Cite

Simões, L. A. R., Dalzochio, T., Goldoni, A., Souza, M. S. de, Rodrigues, G. Z. P., Petry, I. E., Gehlen, G., & Silva, L. B. da. (2019). Micronucleus test in fish for in situ evaluation of the Sinos River water quality, in Brazil. Ciência E Natura, 41, e38. https://doi.org/10.5902/2179460X36307




Most read articles by the same author(s)