An introduction and study design
Under the sponsorship of the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), 17 laboratories from diverse regions of the world participated in evaluating the utility of four plant bioassays for detecting genetic hazards of environmental chemicals. The bioassays included in this collaborative study were: Arabidopsis thaliana embryo and chlorophyll assay and Tradescantia stamen hair assay, Tradescantia paludosa micronucleus assay and Vicia Faba root tip assay. Four to six laboratories participated in the performance of each of the bioassays. All laboratories participating in a particular bioassay were supplied with uniform plant material as well as standardized protocol. Five direct acting water soluble test chemicals, i.e. maleic hydrazide, methyl nitrosourea, ethyl methanesulfonate, sodium azide and azidoglycerol, were selected for this study. The study was designed to be completed in three phases. Ethyl methanesulfonate was used as a positive control and has already been reported earlier (Sandhu et al., 1991). The data from the remaining four chemicals used for the evaluation of four plant test systems in the first phase of the collaborative study are reported in this issue.