One of the primary negative effects of environmental oil exposure is the potential for mutagenic, or DNA damaging effects. This can lead to heritable genetic damage in higher organisms with long-term environmental impact. The biological effect of contamination is difficult to estimate on the basis of chemical profiles due to the complexity of environmental samples. Thus, biologically based assays give a closer approximation of the actual ecological impacts of contamination. To measure the mutagenic or DNA damaging potential of samples we currently utilize the Microscreen Assay, which is based upon a strain of Escherichia coli that is sensitive to mutagenic compounds in a dose-specific way. However, this strain is not optimized for marine samples because E. coli is adapted for growth in freshwater environments. As a consequence the detection limit with this assay is fairly high allowing the possibility of false negative results. We developed an analogous assay utilizing a cultured marine strain. We screened marine bacterial isolates and marine viruses to develop a marine bacterial strain that is sensitive to mutagenic contaminants in a dose specific manner that will increase the sensitivity and decrease the detection threshold for mutagenic contaminants in marine environments.


Data and metadata is made available by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) through a CC0 license in compliance with the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI). The original dataset landing pages may be accessed at GRIIDC’s dataset monitoring webpage.

Data users are encouraged to contact the originating investigator prior to data use and provide appropriate credit.


To develop a marine compatible biological assay for mutagenic compounds.


Mutagenicity, oil exposure, Shewanella fidelis




10-20-2017 12:00 AM

Point of Contact

McDaniel, Lauren
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science
140 7th Ave South
St. Petersburg , FL 33701

Funding Source




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