Ames test

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

tryp- bacteria

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