Use of Mutations in Bacteria as Indicators of Carcinogenic Potential

  • R. D. Callander
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 94 / 2)


The use of bacterial mutation systems to detect chemical carcinogens began in the late 1940s, shortly after the demonstration that carcinogenic nitrogen and sulphur mustards induced gene mutations (and chromosome rearrangements) in the germ cells of Drosophila melanogaster (Auerbach and Robson 1946). The rationale for such use stems from Boveri’s theory of the mutational origin of cancer (see Wolf 1974), which in turn was refined by Bauer (1928) and gained increasing acceptance with successive comparative studies of mutagens and carcinogens in the early 1950s.


Ames Test Mutation Assay Fluctuation Test Forward Mutation Bacterial Assay 
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  • R. D. Callander

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