Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Martin Houston, Larry Elliott, Scott Ford


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Degree Program

Department of Biology

Degree Type

Master of Science


A total of thirteen isolates of Fusarium moniliforme from outbreaks of equine leukoencephalomalacia were grown on sterile cracked corn. The infected corn was extracted with a chloroform-isopropanol mixture, and the resulting extracts were assayed for mutagenic activity using the Salmonella typhimurum-mammalian microsomal mutagenicity assay system (Ames assay) with mutant TA100. Extracts of nine of the isolates assayed against S. typhimurium TA100 were mutagenic, and a marked increase in mutagenic activity was observed with the incorporation of the hepatic microsomal fraction into the assay.

A metabolite, 4-ethyl-2-methoxyphenol, previously isolated from F. moniliforme, was tested for mutagenicity. No mutagenicity was observed with this compound. A toxicity study using S. typhimurium TA100 was performed, and the minimal inhibitory concentration of the metabolite was determined to be 3.04 μmoles/ml/1.6 x 107 cells of S. typhimurium. Due to the toxicity of 4-ethyl-2-methoxyphenol, the Ames assay could not be used to demonstrate possible mutagenicity of the fungal metabolite.

Extracts from three of the 13 isolates were used to infect corn seeds, and the infected corn sequentially extracted with petroleum ether and methanol. The methanol extracts were found to actively revert S. typhimurium TA100, but the petroleum ether extracts were found to possess insignificant mutagenic activity.


Biology | Life Sciences