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Comparison of microbial tests for the detection of heavy metal genotoxicity

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Heavy metal genotoxicity was evaluated by using different microbial tests. Four genotoxicity assays were employed: the Ames test, the E. coli WP2 test, the Mutatox test detecting mutagenicity, and the SOS assay with E. coli-detecting enzyme induction. All the metals tested (cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, nickel, and zinc) were detected as genotoxic by the Mutatox and the SOS tests. The Ames test and the E. coli WP2 assay only detected chromium as genotoxic, causing a mutagenic effect. The sensitivity to metals of all the assays used was maintained when they were dissolved in sewage, although there was a slight increase in the sensitivity thresholds.

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Correspondence to A. de Vicente.

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Codina, J.C., Pérez-Torrente, C., Pérez-García, A. et al. Comparison of microbial tests for the detection of heavy metal genotoxicity. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 29, 260–265 (1995).

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