Bacillus Subtilis Rec-Assay With and Without Metabolic Activation: Improvements and Applications

  • Tsuneo Kada
  • Susumu Watanabe


Chemicals that give positive effects in the rec-assay are often mutagens, chromosome aberrants, and/or carcinogens. Characteristics of the Bacillus subtilis rec-assay system are the following:
  1. 1.

    This assay is one of the systems that is most inexpensive, rapid, and nonlaborious.

  2. 2.

    Bacillus subtilis, gram-positive, has a permeable cell membrane to most chemicals. A rec deficiency, rec45, has been selected among DNA repair-deficient markers because of wide spectra of sensitivities to many chemical mutagens.

  3. 3.

    Recent improvements using spores in place of vegetative cells enabled us to increase assay sensitivity (some 50-fold), to use S-9 (rat liver homogenate) for in vitro metabolic activation as well as to obtain reproducible quantitative data.

The rec-assay can be used very efficiently in combination with current bacterial mutation assays such as the Ames Salmonella system. Some examples of screening of environmental mutagens will be shown as to metal compounds, pesticides, mycotoxins, and food additives.


Bacillus Subtilis Inhibition Zone Sodium Nitrite Sorbic Acid Chemical Mutagen 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tsuneo Kada
    • 1
  • Susumu Watanabe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Induced MutationNational Institute of GeneticsMisima Sizuoka-kenJapan

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