Applied microbiology and biotechnology

Quantitative evaluation of DNA damage and mutation rate by atmospheric and room-temperature plasma (ARTP) and conventional mutagenesis.

PMID 26025015


DNA damage is the dominant source of mutation, which is the driving force of evolution. Therefore, it is important to quantitatively analyze the DNA damage caused by different mutagenesis methods, the subsequent mutation rates, and their relationship. Atmospheric and room temperature plasma (ARTP) mutagenesis has been used for the mutation breeding of more than 40 microorganisms. However, ARTP mutagenesis has not been quantitatively compared with conventional mutation methods. In this study, the umu test using a flow-cytometric analysis was developed to quantify the DNA damage in individual viable cells using Salmonella typhimurium NM2009 as the model strain and to determine the mutation rate. The newly developed method was used to evaluate four different mutagenesis systems: a new ARTP tool, ultraviolet radiation, 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4-NQO), and N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine (MNNG) mutagenesis. The mutation rate was proportional to the corresponding SOS response induced by DNA damage. ARTP caused greater DNA damage to individual living cells than the other conventional mutagenesis methods, and the mutation rate was also higher. By quantitatively comparing the DNA damage and consequent mutation rate after different types of mutagenesis, we have shown that ARTP is a potentially powerful mutagenesis tool with which to improve the characteristics of microbial cell factories.

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4-Nitroquinoline N-oxide, ≥98%