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Mutat Res. 1976 Feb;34(2):175-86.

The resistance of Micrococcus radiodurans to killing and mutation by agents which damage DNA.


The resistance of Micrococcus radiodurans to the lethal and mutagenic action of ultraviolet (UV) light, ionising (gamma) radiation, mitomycin C (MTC), nitrous acid (NA), hydroxylamine (HA), N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (NG), ethylmethanesulphonate (EMS) and beta-propiolactone (betaPL) has been compared with that of Escherichia coli B/r. M. radiodurans was much more resistant than E. coli B/r to the lethal effects of UV light (by a factor of 33), gamma-radiation (55), NG (15) and NA (62), showed intermediate resistance to MTC (4) and HA (7), but was sensitive to EMS (1) and betaPL (2). M. radiodurans was very resistant to mutagens producing damage which can be repaired by a recombination system, indicating that it possesses an extremely efficient recombination repair mechanism. Both species were equally sensitive to mutation to trimethoprim resistance by NG, but M. radiodurans was more resistant than E. coli B/R to the other mutagens tests, being non-mutable by UV light, gamma-radiation, MTC and HA, and only slightly sensitive to mutation by NA, EMS and betaPL. The resistance of M. radiodurans to mutation by UV-light, gamma-radiation and MTC is consistent with an hypothesis that recombination repair in M. radiodurans is accurate since these mutagens may depend on an "error-prone" recombination system for their mutagenic effect in E. coli B/r. However, because M. radiodurans is also resistant to mutagens such as HA and EMS, which are mutagenic in E. coli in the absence of an "error-prone" system, we propose that all the mutagens tested may have a common mode of action in E. coli B/r, but that this mutagenic pathway is missing in M. radiodurans.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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