Biochemical and mutagenic characterization of plant‐activated aromatic amines

Michael J. Plewa, Tomáš Gichner, Hua Xin, Kwang‐Young ‐Y Seo, Shannon R. Smith, Elizabeth D. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Plant activation is the process by which promutagenic agents are activated into rautagens by plant systems. With the widespread use of agricultural chemicals on crop plants and with the global exposure of plants to pollutants, the possibility exists that plant‐activated agents may be introduced into the human food chain. The plant cell/microbe coincubation assay uses cultured plant cell suspensions as the activating system and bacteria or yeast cells as the genetic indicator organism. After a treatment time, the microbes are plated on selective medium. In this way the activation system and the genetic system can be independently studied. In addition, the viability of the plant cells and the microbial cells can be independently determined so that the toxicity of a test agent can be evaluated. Using cytochrome P450 monooxygenase and peroxidase inhibitors, we are studying the biochemical mechanisms of plant activation of environmental contaminants, especially aromatic amines. We propose a working model for the activation of aromatic amines by cultured tobacco cells into stable frameshift mutagens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1353-1363
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1993


  • Antimutagen
  • Aromatic amines
  • Peroxidase
  • Plant cell/microbe coincubation assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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  • Cite this

    Plewa, M. J., Gichner, T., Xin, H., Seo, KY. Y., Smith, S. R., & Wagner, E. D. (1993). Biochemical and mutagenic characterization of plant‐activated aromatic amines. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 12(8), 1353-1363.