Concepts

The Ames test uses his- strains of bacteria to test chemicals for their ability to produce his-: his+ mutations. Because mutagenic activity and carcinogenic potential are closely correlated, the Ames test is widely used to screen chemicals for their cancer-causing potential.

„a his bacteria

| Bacterial his- strains are mixed with liver enzymes (which have the ability to convert compounds into potential mutagens).

Some of the bacterial strains are also mixed with the chemical to be tested for mutagenic activity.

The bacteria are then plated on medium that lacks histidine.

The bacteria are then plated on medium that lacks histidine.

Incubate

Incubate m

Control plate (no chemical)

| Bacterial colonies that appear on the plates have undergone a his~-*- his + mutation.

Treatment plate (chemical added)

of colonies appearing on the plate is mutagenic and therefore probably also carcinogenic.

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