Contamination of plants with heavy metals could result in damage in DNA, such as mutations and crosslinks with proteins. These altered DNA profiles may become visible in changes such as the appearance of a new band, or loss of an existing band, in the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) assay. In this study, various concentrations of copper and zinc salts were applied to cucumber seedlings during germination. Results displayed abnormalities in germination and also changes in root elongation, dry weight and total soluble protein level. All treatment concentrations (40, 80, 160, 240, 320, and 640 mg/L) used in the study caused a decrease/delay in germination of the cucumbers to different extents. Inhibition or activation of root elongation was considered to be the first effect of metal toxicity in the tested plants. Application of the metal salts and the combined solutions on cucumber (Cucumis sativus L) seedlings revealed similar consequences for total soluble protein level, dry weight and ultimately in inhibitory rates as well. The data obtained from RAPD band-profiles and genomic template stability (GTS) showed results that were consistent with the population parameters. In this regard, we conclude that molecular marker assays can be applied in combination with population parameters to measure genotoxic effects of heavy metals on plants. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.