Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Pollution/Toxic Substances/Waste
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Benicia Harrison - Alabama A&M University
Co-Author(s): Raymond Wiggins, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL; Raveen Martin, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL; Khadi Badiane, Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL.
Pesticides are chemical compounds such as herbicides, fungicides, or insecticides. Pesticides are beneficial in that they control pests and increase agricultural output, but they have many overlooked consequences to their use, such as contaminating nearby water sources or poisoning non-target species. The purpose of this experiment was to determine the genotoxicity of 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid (2,4-D), which is commonly found in pesticides, using the Environmental Bio Detection Products Inc.’s (EBPI) Muta-ChromoPlate kit. The Muta-ChromoPlate kit tests for genotoxicity using a reverse-mutation Ames test. The test was carried out using microplates and strains of Salmonella Typhimurium that carried mutations on the operon coding for histidine biosynthesis. When these bacteria are exposed to mutagenic agents, reverse mutations from amino acid auxotrophy to prototrophy occurs and causes the microplate wells to become either yellow or turbid to indicate that the compound is capable of causing mutations in cells. Likewise, purple or a lack of turbidity is an indication of no mutations taking place. It was hypothesized that 2,4-D would indeed be capable of causing mutations. There was a positive control and a blank was used to maintain sterility. The plates were checked daily and results were recorded after 3-5 days of incubation at 37°C. The experiment yielded 80% yellow and turbid results, thus indicating that 2,4-D was capable of causing genetic mutations and is therefore harmful to cells it may come into contact with. Future research concerning genotoxicity would include experimentation with other compounds commonly found in pesticides and runoff water.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Awards to Stimulate and Support Undergraduate Research Experiences (ASSURE) Program; , Alabama Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (ALSAMP) program
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Florence Okafor, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: I was responsible for carrying out the Ames test, which included the creation of the reaction mixture that would allow the experiment to reveal if the chemical was capable of causing mutations or not. Additionally, I transferred experimental substances to the microplates along with checking these plates daily during the 3-5 day incubation period; furthermore, I interpreted and recorded the data.