The Ty1 Transposition Assay: A Short – Term Test for Selective Detection of Carcinogenic Pollutants in Environmental Samples

1 Sofia University Faculty of Biology, BG -1421 Sofia, Bulgaria
2 Institute of Cryobiology and Food Technology, BG -1407 Sofia, Bulgaria
3 National Executive Environmental Agency, BG - 1618 Sofia, Bulgaria


PESHEVA, M., O. KRASTANOVA, R. STAMENOVA, I. TODOROVA, R. SHOEVSKA, P. VENKOV and Tsv. TSVETKOV, 2008. The Ty1 transposition assay: a short – term test for selective detection of carcinogenic pollutants in environmental samples. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 14: 271-282

The Ty1 short-term test is based on induction the transposition of the oncogene-like Ty1 retrotransposon in a gene-engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae tester strain. Previous studies have evidenced the positive response of the test to a number of laboratory carcinogens, including such that are undetectable by the other short – term tests and the negative response of Ty1 test to mutagens without carcinogenic potential. In this communication we report the results from the application of Ty1 test to study soil, water and air environmental samples. The same samples were also chemically analyzed for mutagens, carcinogens, heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, pesticides and polychlorinated biphenols and the data compared to the responses of the Ty1 test. The Ty1 test was positive in concentration-dependent and kinetics experiments with all samples that contained carcinogens above the ecological standards and gave negative results with samples free of carcinogens, although some of them contained noncarcinogenic mutagens in high amounts. These results evidenced that the property of Ty1 test for selective detection of carcinogens, previously found in experiments with laboratory mutagens and carcinogens, can be extended to environmental studies. It is concluded that the usage of Ty1 test together with another short-term tests for environmental studies is advantageous and will give a more accurate picture of pollution with carcinogenic pollutants.

Key words: short-term test, carcinogens, environment

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