Dichloroacetonitrile, a by-product of water chlorination, induces aneuploidy in Drosophila

C. Osgood, D. Sterling

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21 Scopus citations


Nitriles have been shown to be potent inducers of aneuploidy in yeast and Drosophila test systems. Haloacetonitriles are by-products of water chlorination that have been shown to be mutagenic and carcinogenic following topical application. In this report we show that dichloroacetonitrile, but not dibromoacetonitrile, is an effective inducer of aneuploidy in oocytes of Drosophila melanogaster. Following inhalation exposure of ZESTE adult females, dichloroacetonitrile (8.6 ppm) induced highly significant increments in the frequencies of sex chromosome loss and gain. Sodium cyanide was also found to be a highly effective inducer of germline aneuploidy, suggesting that cyanide toxicity may contribute to potency of nitriles as inducers of aneuploidy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalMutation Research/Genetic Toxicology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1991


  • (Drosophila melanogaster)
  • Aneuploidy
  • Dichloroacetonitrile
  • Haloacetonitriles
  • Water chlorination


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