The umu-microtest is a miniaturized automated short-term test version proposed for screening of umuC-dependent mutagenic potentials of chemicals relevant to environmental pollution, river water and industrial waste water. The test is based on the SOS/umu-test and has been modified in order to allow extensive testing of environmental samples. Genetically engineered Salmonella typhimurium (TA1535/pSK1002) are incubated on a microplate rotor in a sloping position for 2 h with the test samples, followed by addition of fresh culture medium to reach a 10-fold dilution of the incubation medium. 2 h later, the activity of the beta-galactosidase, which reflects umuC induction, is determined colorimetrically. The incubation of the bacteria in the presence of the test compounds as well as the assessment of beta-galactosidase activity takes place in 96-well microplates, thus enabling simultaneous screening of large numbers of samples. Data of the genotoxic potentials are available within 8 h. Computer-controlled automation is possible by using a laboratory workstation.