A statistical approach to evaluate compost genotoxicity
Parallel experiments were carried out to evaluate the induction of genotoxic effects in Vicia faba seedlings treated both with aqueous and organic extracts (dimethyl sulphoxide 5%) of 13 composts, or grown on soil samples to which different doses of the same composts were added. Pearsons linear correlation coefficient and multiple regression were used to study how these two different methodological approaches (treatment with the extracts versus direct contact with the composts in soil) agree. In addition, multiple regression analysis was used to investigate the role of heavy metals and humic substances in genotoxic effects and to construct a model to be used to accurately predict potential genotoxicity of the composts. Experimental data obtained at the highest application rate of compost on soil were found to fit the model and evidenced the role of the humic substances in modulating the potential genotoxicity of the different composts.