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Journal of Toxicology
Volume 2015, Article ID 504360, 9 pages
Research Article

Cytotoxicity, Genotoxicity, and Phytotoxicity of Tannery Effluent Discharged into Palar River Basin, Tamil Nadu, India

Marine Biotechnology and Bioproducts Lab, School of Biosciences and Technology, VIT University, Vellore 632014, India

Received 15 September 2015; Revised 22 November 2015; Accepted 30 November 2015

Academic Editor: Cinta Porte

Copyright © 2015 Suki Roy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ambur, a town located on the banks of Palar River, is considered one of the most polluted areas in India and occupied by hundreds of tanneries and leather product units. The present study was designed to evaluate the toxic effect of discharged tannery effluent (TE) on model agricultural crops, ecofriendly microorganisms, and human blood cells. The phytotoxic effects of TE tested on Allium cepa and Lemna minor revealed inhibition of root growth and significant reduction in number of fronds, protein, and chlorophyll content. Moreover, TE induced chlorosis and tissue necrosis in Nostoc muscorum at low concentration (10%). TE has also negative impact on ecofriendly microorganisms, Bacillus thuringiensis, Rhizobium etli, and Aspergillus terreus which play an important role in the nutrition of plant growth. The genotoxicity of TE was investigated in human leukocytes which showed interference with normal mitotic division with subsequent cell lysis. It also intervened with the normal replication process and induced micronucleus formation in the healthy leukocyte. 5% concentration of TE has been revealed to be toxic to erythrocytes. From this study TE found in the Palar River of Ambur has adverse effects on all the three levels of organisms in ecosystem even at lower concentrations.