The plant cell/microbe coincubation assay for the analysis of plant-activated promutagens

Michael J. Plewa, Elizabeth D. Wagner, James M. Gentile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The preincubation and suspension procedures of the plant cell/microbe coincubation assay are described and the activation of 2-aminofluorene and m-phenylenediamine by cultured tobacco, cotton, carrot and maize cells is compared. The assay measures the plant activation of promutagens into genotoxins detected in Salmonella typhimurium as well as toxicity in plant and microbial cells. At concentrations of 2-aminofluorene 0-0.5 μmoles/reaction tube, the rank order of the efficiency of activation by plant cells was tobacco ≫ cotton > carrot. Cultured maize cells did not activate 2-aminofluorene. The tobacco cell activation of 2-aminofluorene was inhibited 50% by 750 μM diethyldithio-carbamate under conditions that did not affect the cell viability. Tobacco cells were also the most efficient plant cells in activating m-phenylenediamine (0-5 μmoles/reaction tube). The 'biological affinity' of m-phenylenediamine for the activation system in tobacco cells was approximately 100 μM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-219
Number of pages13
JournalMutation Research - Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1988


  • 2-Aminofluorene
  • Plant cell/microbe coincubation assay
  • Promutagens, plant-activated
  • m-Phenylenediamine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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