Evaluation of vehicular pollution using the TRAD-MCN mutagenic bioassay with Tradescantia pallida (Commelinaceae)
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Biomonitoring is one of the tools used to assess the mutagenic potential of the atmosphere. In this study, the mutagenicity of Tradescantia pallida, a species of plant largely present in urban environments, was investigated. The objectives of this study was to estimate the mutagenic potential of vehicular flow through the TRAD-MCN bioassay in cities located at different altitudes in the southwest mesoregion of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil, to infer possible abiotic agents that may contribute to the effects of atmospheric pollutants, and finally to map the cities with greater risks to the health of the local population. To achieve these objectives, the Tradescantia-micronucleus test was performed on young buds of T. pallida collected between August 2015 and August 2016 in nine cities of Mato Grosso do Sul. These buds were exposed to traffic flows of various intensities. The data collected consisted of measurements of meteorological parameters and vehicular traffic counts for each city. The variables considered were: mean ambient temperature; micronuclei frequency; vehicular flow; altitude; relative humidity; pluviosity. The application of the Trad-MCN bioassay, with the consideration of environmental variables and altitudes, and the use of the Kernel interpolation technique, allowed us to map the areas with significant pollution risks to the population. The highest frequency of exposure to mutagens occurred in the cities with the highest vehicular traffic intensity. The average ambient temperature failed to show a linear association with the frequency of the micronuclei in the samples analyzed (r = 0.11(ns)). A positive correlation was observed between micronuclei frequency and vehicular flow, (r = 0.67; p <= 0.001%) and between micronuclei frequency and altitude (r = 0.24; p <= 0.05). A negative correlation was found between relative humidity and micronuclei frequency (r = -0.19; p <= 0.05%). Thus, higher micronuclei frequency tended to be present in locations with low relative humidity and high altitudes and vehicular flow. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.