• salicylic acid;
  • alphamethrin;
  • endosulfan;
  • mitotic index;
  • chromosomal abnormalities

The present study investigated the possible mediatory role of salicylic acid (SA) in protecting plants from insecticides toxicity. The seeds of Vicia faba var IIVR Selection-1 were treated with different concentrations (1.5, 3.0, and 6.0 ppm) of the insecticides alphamethrin (AM) and endosulfan (ES) for 6 h with and without 12 h conditioning treatment of SA (0.01 mM). Insecticides treatment caused a significant decrease in mitotic index (MI) and induction of different types of chromosomal abnormalities in the meristematic cells of broad bean roots. Pretreatment of seeds with SA resulted in increased MI and significant reduction of chromosomal abnormalities. SA application also regulated proline accumulation and carotenoid content in the leaf tissues. SA resulted in the decrement of insecticides induced increase in proline content and increased the carotenoids content. These results illustrate the ameliorating effect of SA under stress conditions and reveal that SA is more effective in alleviating the toxic effects of insecticides at higher concentrations than that at lower concentrations. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 28: 666–672, 2013.