Micronucleus test in tadpole erythrocytes: Trends in studies and new paths
Abstract The micronucleus test has been applied for more than three decades in tadpoles, generating an early warning of environmental quality. In this study, we reviewed 48 articles on the micronucleus test in tadpoles, published between 1987 and 2018. The findings reveal that pesticides have been the main topic discussed in the induction of micronucleus and other nuclear abnormalities in anuran larvae to the detriment of the widespread use of compounds used in agriculture. In addition to pesticides, a number of other xenobiotic agents have been targeted for genotoxic damage, such as heavy metals, radiation and wastewater. An appeal is reported to environmental contaminants, which when released naturally into the environment or because of human activities may contaminate aquatic habitats, threatening populations of tadpoles that depend on these environments for their survival. Larvae can bioaccumulate these contaminants that cause progressive impacts, ranging from DNA damage to metamorphosis delays, as well as malformations. We found that Argentina is the main driving force for the application of this test in anuran larvae along with Brazil. Different erythrocyte malformations have been reported for the erythrocyte nuclear abnormalities test, binucleated cells, nuclear buds, notched, lobed, reniform, nuclear bebbled, anucleated, picnotic and apoptotic cells are the most cited. In summary, the presence of chemical or physical agents, along with other disturbances of the habitat, can have a significant impact on the life history of the species, contributing to the decline of anuran populations.