Genotoxic properties of the essential oils extracted from Artemisia dracunculus (tarragon), Ocimum basilicum (basil), Cinnamomum loureirii (cinnamon), Laurus nobilis (laurel), Satureja montana (savory) and Rosmarinus officinallis (rosemary) are studied by Drosophila melanogaster Somatic Mutation and Recombination Test (SMART). The high bioactivation crossed with a high cytochrome P450-dependent bioactivation capacity is used. This assay is principally based on the loss of heterozygosity of the suitable recessive markers’ multiple wing hairs (mwh) and flare-3 (flr3) which can lead to the formation of mutant clones of larval cells, and which are then going to be expressed as spots on the wings of adult flies. Third-instar larvae are treated for 48 hr with different concentrations of the essential oils dissolved in Tween-80 at 0.2% or 2%. The wings of the emerging adults are analyzed for the occurrence of different types of mutant spots. No statistically significant differences in spot frequencies between negative controls and treated series are observed.
These results suggest that the six essential oils at concentrations tested are not genotoxic towards somatic cells of D. melanogaster.