Plants are present in almost all areas of the world and can accumulate many chemical compounds present in the soil, water, and atmosphere. As these chemicals which are potentially mutagenic or carcinogenic are absorbed by the plants sharing the same environment with us, bioassays on plants can be used to detect the presence of environmental hazards. Another reason for selecting plants for assessing adverse effects of these chemicals is the ease of experimentation with plants. Evaluating the effect of a substance on basic plant characteristics such as growth, survival, or reproduction is straightforward and repeatable. Thus, various plant species are commonly utilized as indicators of adverse environmental conditions. This chapter covers the detection of environmental mutagens through plant bioassays, considering the increasing importance of biomonitoring using plants for assessing the mutagenicity of relevant chemicals and industrial waste. From this point of view, a detailed literature search was made on the subject. The genotoxic, cytotoxic, and molecular studies have been investigated and the most useful and important parts and key points of these methods were summarized. This review would be useful for scientists who are planning to conduct research on plant bioassays with different types of methods and chemicals.
Part of the book: Plant Ecology