A test developed by Bruce Ames to determine is a chemcial is a mutagen
Why the Ames test is so useful
a. it is fast: requires just a few days to complete
b. can be performed easily
c. many compounds can be tested at one time
d. it is very sensitive: can detect one mutation per billion cells
e. can detect mutagaens formed as a result of normal cellular function
Elements of Ames test
a. tryptophan requiring Salmonella typhimurium: requires tryptophan to grow
b. smooth endoplasmic reticulum from mouse liver: contains liver enzymes that detoxify ingested material.
These enzymes can produce mutagens from normally nonmutagenic chemicals that are ingested.
c. chemical in question
Results of Ames test
if chemical is a mutagen then tryp- bacteria will be mutated to tryp+ bacteria
Doing the Ames test