The effect of chlorophyllin in modifying the clastogenic action of nicotine was tested in vivo on mice bone marrow cells. Nicotine, when administered by gavage, induced chromosomal aberrations in frequencies directly proportional to the dose. Maximum effects were recorded at 6 h after exposure. Chlorophyllin, when given alone, was not clastogenic even at the highest concentration (1.50 mg/kg body wt). Simultaneous administration of nicotine and chlorophyllin with even lower doses (1.25 and 0.77 mg/kg body wt) reduced the frequency of chromosomal aberrations to the normal level. Chlorophyllin alone, given 2 h before nicotine, however, did not counteract the effects of nicotine. The use of green plant parts in modifying the genotoxicity of different agents may be related to the protective action of chlorophyllin. Copyright © 1991 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.