Cytogenetic study for possible mutagenic activity induced by ice-nucleation bacteria or their metabolic products in human lymphocytes in vitro
Lialiaris, Theodoros S.
A means for eliminating ice-nucleation-active (INA) bacteria, the microorganisms responsible for frost damage to plants at mild freezing temperatures, is the use as competitors of other naturally occurring, non-nucleating strains. Inactive mutants (INA-) of INA bacteria have been produced by genetic or chemical methods and proposed for biological control of INA populations. Since, however, the application of these INA- mutants in the field may create health hazards to animals, we have studied the possible mutagenic activity of the INA- mutants by examining chromosome aberrations, sister-chromatid exchange (SCE) frequencies, and proliferation kinetics of human lymphocyte cultures. These cultures were treated with: (a) a naturally occurring INA- bacterium (p 767), (b) 2 parental strains (cit 7 and cit 13) of INA bacteria isolated from Citrus orchards, and (c) 2 INA- mutant strains (cit 7 del 1b and cit 13-12), produced, respectively, by chemical modification and by deletion of the corresponding parental strains. Neither whole bacteria nor infiltrates of bacterial growth media, in which toxic metabolic bacterial products might have been released, induced elevation of either chromosome aberrations and SCEs or a cell-division delay. Negative results were also obtained when sonicated bacteria were tested for possible intracellular mutagenic components
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