Why is Deinococcus radiodurans so resistant to ionizing radiation?

Trends Microbiol. 1999 Sep;7(9):362-5. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(99)01566-8.


When exponential-phase cultures of Deinococcus radiodurans are exposed to a 5000-Gray dose of gamma radiation, individual cells suffer massive DNA damage. Despite this insult to their genetic integrity, these cells survive without loss of viability or evidence of mutation, repairing the damage by as-yet-poorly-understood mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Gamma Rays*
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Gram-Positive Cocci / genetics
  • Gram-Positive Cocci / growth & development
  • Gram-Positive Cocci / radiation effects*
  • Radiation Tolerance*
  • Recombination, Genetic


  • DNA, Bacterial