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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Fungal metabolism and detoxification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

The mutagenic activity of ethyl acetate extracts of culture medium from Cunninghamella elegans incubated 72 h with various polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) was evaluated in the Salmonella typhimurium reversion assay. All of the PAH extracts were assayed in tester strains TA98 and TA100 both with and without metabolic activation using a liver fraction from Aroclor 1254-treated rats. None of the extracts from fungal incubations with the mutagenic PAHs, benzo[a]pyrene, 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene, 3-methylcholanthrene and benz[a]anthracene, as well as the non-mutagenic PAHs, naphthalene, phenanthrene and anthracene, displayed any appreciable mutagenic activity. In addition, time course experiments indicated that the rate of decrease in mutagenic activity in the extracts from cultures incubated with benzo[a]pyrene or 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene was coincident with the rate of increase in total metabolism. The results demonstrated the ability of the fungus C. elegans to detoxify known carcinogens and mutagens and suggests that this organism may play an important role in the metabolism and inactivation of PAHs in the environment.[1]


  1. Fungal metabolism and detoxification of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Cerniglia, C.E., White, G.L., Heflich, R.H. Arch. Microbiol. (1985) [Pubmed]
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