J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2014 Jun;12(1):8-13.

Genotoxicity of low-dose Glyphosate by Sister Chromatid Exchange

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Keimyung University, Dongsan Medical center, Daegu, Korea. sjkim@dsmc.co.kr
  • 2Department of Emergency Medicine, School of Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Anatomy, Keimyung University College of Medicine, Daegu, Korea.


Glyphosate (N-phosphonomethyl glycine) is widely used as an herbicide for weed control in rural areas. It is also readily available for suicide attempts. Glyphosate has high toxicity and negatively affects the human body. The aim of this investigation was to study the genotoxicity of a low-concentration of glyphosate through sister chromatid exchange (SCE) in human blood lymphocytes in vitro.
Primary lymphocyte cultures were obtained from blood samples of 11 males and seven females who had been exposed to glyphosate (0, 100, 200, and 300 ng/mL). The frequency of SCEs was examined and statistical analysis was performed.
All doses of glyphosate induced a significant dose-dependent increase in SCE frequency compared with the control group (P<0.001). In particular, the SCE frequency for exposure to low-dose glyphosate was significantly higher in females than in males.
According to the result of this study, even a low-dose of glyphosate may damage DNA and females are more vulnerable to glyphosate.


Glyphosate; Toxicology; Sister chromatid exchange
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