Phenanthrene, a Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon, remains adsorbed to sedimentary particles in aquatic environments. It affects mainly benthic organisms, and is considered potentially genotoxic. In ecotoxicology, species of Chironomus Meigen, 1803 are widely known as bioindicators of the effects of chemicals on aquatic organisms. This study investigates the effects of phenanthrene on the size of the head capsule of Chironomus sancticaroli Strixino & Strixino, 1981 larvae after chronic (eight days) exposure, and DNA damage after acute (96 hours) and chronic exposure (eight days), under laboratory conditions. DNA damage, evaluated using the alkaline comet assay, detected effects for both exposure periods, indicating that phenanthrene is toxic for C. sancticaroli. For the acute exposure, we analyzed five concentrations of phenanthrene, between 0.16 mg.l-1 and 1.60 mg.l-1, detecting significant differences (Kruskall-Wallis test with p < 0.05) in the degree of DNA damage in all groups. These effects were not dose-dependent. For the chronic exposure, two concentrations (0.16 mg.l-1, 0.83 mg.l-1) were analyzed, and DNA damage was observed in both. Again, the effects were not dose-dependent. This indicates that phenanthrene is genotoxic to larvae of C. sancticaroli even at low concentrations. The size of the head capsule was evaluated after chronic exposure to concentrations of 0.16 mg.l-1 and 0.83 mg.l-1. Significant differences (ANOVA test with p < 0.05) were detected in the two concentrations...
AIM: This work presents the results of the first water quality assessment using the biotic index Índice Biótico Estendido - Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (IBE-IOC) for 1st to 4th order streams in the Serra dos Órgãos region, Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil. The aims were to evaluate the sensitivity of IBE-IOC, verifying its ability to assess anthropogenic impacts over the stream gradient and along the year; METHODS: The sensitivity of the index was evaluated according to the degree of interquartile overlap in Box-and-Whisker plots; RESULTS: The index is able to distinguish different types of environmental integrity and different impacts by deforestation and organic pollution; CONCLUSIONS: Our results supported the recommendation of IBE-IOC as a useful tool for water quality assessment of wadeable streams in this region.
AIM: Veredas and the aquatic and semi-aquatic communities play a key role in watershed protection in the Cerrado Biome. Information about the effects of physical and chemical variables and habitat integrity on benthic communities has been increased in recent years; however, there is no study evaluating the influence of urbanization on macroinvertebrates of Vereda streams. Thus, improving the knowledge of the relationship between abiotic properties and benthic fauna is very important for understanding the functioning of ecological processes and health of aquatic ecosystems. This study investigated the influence of physical and chemical variables on benthic macroinvertebrate communities along a gradient of anthropogenic disturbance in four Vereda streams in Uberlândia (MG), one in a preserved area and three in the urban area; METHODS: samplings were collected during the dry and rainy seasons; RESULTS: principal component analysis separated the stream in the preserved area from those in the urban area by having lower values of BOD, COD, sediment size, conductivity, detergents, pH, deposited solids and total dissolved solids. Pollution sensitive groups (e.g., Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera) were associated to the stream in the preserved area...
OBJECTIVE: To contribute to the knowledge of patterns of spatial and seasonal distribution of composition and species richness of flagellate protozoa in tropical impacted streams and to identify which variables (physical and chemical or descriptor variables of habitat complexity) control these attributes in these environments. METHODS: Samplings were performed in 10 tropical streams (5 urban and 5 rural) in two periods (summer and winter). Limnological variables were determined on the field (except for the concentration of nutrients), the habitat macrostructure was visually estimated in situ, using a quadrat and the species identification was performed in vivo, under optical microscope. RESULTS: In total, 106 taxa were identified, the order Euglenida was that contributed most to the species richness, probably due to the high tolerance to environmental changes. Multivariate analyses (ANOSIM and MDS) evidenced significant spatial and seasonal differences both for composition and species richness. The Bioenv and Mantel Test indicated that the patterns of composition and richness were controlled by physical and chemical variables indicative of water quality (pH, electrical conductivity, and concentration of nutrients). However, the species richness was also influenced by the habitat structural complexity and by its stability...
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to verify the identification of specimens of the Oligochaeta in different taxonomic levels (family and species) has the same potential for assessing the water quality of an urban stream in Minas Gerais, Brazil. METHODS: Oligochaeta specimens were collected from eight sampling stations in July 2007. Four stations were located in rural areas and the other four in urban areas. Were measured concentrations of dissolved oxygen, phosphorus and total nitrogen, pH, electrical conductivity and BOD. To evaluate the influence of taxonomic level, Oligochaeta specimens were identified at the family and species. We performed a principal component analysis (PCA) to determine which abiotic variables best explained the distribution of Oligochaeta along the sampling stations. Cluster analysis was performed with the abundance of Oligochaeta in the family and species levels, separately, to assess the degree of similarity between the stations and check the level of identification of organisms could interfere with the associations formed. RESULTS: In general, the sampling stations located in urban areas had high pH, BOD and total nitrogen and phosphorus, while rural stations had a higher concentration of oxygen. Three families of Oligochaeta were found: Tubificidae...
Benthic macroinvertebrates are widely used in evaluations of environmental impact and recommended in biomonitoring, but little used in Brazilian lentic environments. One of the main objectives has been to explain and predict the distribution of those species according to environmental characteristics. Thus, the study aims to characterize the predominant fauna of the Lake Figueira sediment and its relationship with organic matter and depth, analyzing seasonal variation in communities and aiming to select bioindicators of the trophic state. Sampling was carried out from January 2008 to January 2009, along the lagoon fetch, with an Ekmann-Birge dredge (area 225 cm²). Taxon richness was not significantly related with depth and organic matter content, but those variables were highly correlated (r = 0.962; r² = 0.926 and p < 0.001). The constant oxygenation of the whole water column allows the occurrence of organisms, independent of depth and organic matter content. Chironomidae was the most abundant taxon and from the frequency of occurrence, abundance and clustering analysis it was possible to select Larsia sp. , Goeldichironomus maculatus, Xenochironomus sp. , Aedokritus sp. Cladopelma forcipis, Cryptochironomus brasiliensis, Nilothauma sp.1 and Caladomyia sp. C...
AIM: This study aimed to assess the quality of water and sediment of urban streams (Lajeado, Preto, Pedras and Lewis-Pedroso) located in Santa Cruz do Sul County, RS, Brazil, using the microcrustacean Ceriodaphnia dubia as test-organism. METHODS: Quarterly scientific excursions to the streams were held on August and November 2011, February and May of 2012 in order to collect water and sediment samples, in the upper reaches (P1, P3, P5, P7) and lower reaches (P2, P4, P6, P8), totalizing 8 points. To evaluate the toxicity (acute and chronic), the microcrustacean C. dubia was used. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The results indicated high toxicity levels detected in samples P2, P6 and P8 (lower reaches), as they caused the mortality of 100% of organisms in the water samples (P6 and P8) and sediment samples (P2 and P8), denoting acute effect. Yet, all upstream sites showed chronic effects in sediment samples, at least for one collection period, with the highest significant toxicity level among all samples (55.2%), which indicates the presence of contamination even in upper areas. These results indicated a strong degradation of the water and sediment quality of urban streams coming from the wastewater and industrial discharges of the urban area...
AIM: the aim of this study was to determine the ecological valence of benthic macroinvertebrates at different pollution levels in highland rivers and streams of Rio Grande do Sul; METHODS: the dataset proceeds from samplings performed between 2002-2011 in 35 lotic ecosystems. The Chemical Index was used to determine pollution levels. Indices of richness and Shannon diversity were applied to characterize the structure of benthic communities. The descriptors used to determine taxa's ecological valence were selected according to Coefficient of Variation and regression analyses. Groups of tolerance were identified using Interquartile range and cluster analysis; RESULTS: Conductivity and Chemical Index were the descriptors best related with diversity of benthic macroinvertebrate community. These metrics were used to determine the tolerance range of 38 taxa. Interquartile range and cluster analysis revealed three groups of taxa, according to their occurrence in different levels of pollution: taxa with narrow amplitudes, present at sites with very low or very high load of organic enrichment; taxa with moderate amplitude, found until moderately polluted sites; and taxa with occurrence in widespread environmental conditions. The results...
Effects of nitrate availability in two culture media (von Stosch (VSES), and artificial ASP 12-NTA), and nitrogen sources (seawater enriched with nitrate, ammonium or urea in concentrations ranging from zero to 30 µM) were evaluated in two brown morphs (BR-1, BR-2), one light-green morph (LG) and one dark-green morph (DG) of Hypnea musciformis (Wulfen) J.V. Lamour. Higher growth rates of the four morphs were observed in VSES medium. However, artificial ASP12-NTA medium induced tetrasporangium development in DG morph. Growth rates of the four colour morphs followed kinetic of saturation-type nutrient uptake in treatments with urea. In contrast, growth rates of BR-1, BR-2 and LG morphs were inversely proportional to ammonium concentrations, and those higher than 15 µM were lethal. Growth responses of colour morphs of H. musciformis showed intraspecific variations, and they could be used as bioindicators of nitrogen pollution in marine environment by their low tolerance to ammonium.
We used sea urchin embryos as bioindicators to study the effects of exposure to sublethal cadmium concentrations on the expression of the metallothionein (MT) gene stress marker. For this purpose, the complete complementary deoxyribonucleic acid of the species Paracentrotus lividus (Pl) was cloned and sequenced. Northern blot analysis showed that basal levels of Pl-MT messenger ribonucleic acid, having an apparent size of 700 bases, are expressed in all developmental stages analyzed, from early cleavage to pluteus. However, when embryos were continuously cultured in sublethal CdCl2 concentrations and harvested at cleavage, swimming blastula, late gastrula, and pluteus stages (6, 12, 24, and 48 hours after fertilization, respectively), a time- and dose-dependent increase in the transcription levels of the Pl-MT gene was observed. Interestingly, although microscopical inspection revealed the occurrence of abnormalities only after 24 hours of exposure to the pollutant, Northern blot and reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction analyses revealed significant increases in Pl-MT expression levels already after 12 and 6 hours of exposure, respectively. Therefore, this study confirms the validity of MT as marker of exposure and provides evidence that Pl-MT and sea urchin embryos can be a potentially valuable and sensitive model for testing in very short periods of time seawaters heavily contaminated with cadmium.
A macroscopic, microradiographic and scanning electron microscope study was performed on the structure of fluorosed dental enamel in red deer from a fluoride polluted region (North Bohemia, Czech Republic). As was revealed by analysis of mandibular bone fluoride content, the rate of skeletal fluoride accumulation in the fluorotic deer was about 6 times that in controls taken from a region not exposed to excessive fluoride deposition. In all fluorosed mandibles, the 1st molar was consistently less fluorotic than the other permanent teeth. This was related to the fact that crown formation in the M1 takes place prenatally and during the lactation period. Fluorosed teeth exhibited opaque and posteruptively stained enamel, reduction or loss of enamel ridges, moderately to grossly increased wear and, in more severe cases, also enamel surface lesions of partly posteruptive, partly developmental origin. Microradiographically, fluorosed enamel was characterised by subsurface hypomineralisation, interpreted as a result of fluoride interference with the process of enamel maturation. In addition, an accentuation of the incremental pattern due to the occurrence of alternating bands with highly varying mineral content was observed in severely fluorosed teeth...
We analyzed cytogenetic end points in three populations of two species of wild rodents--Akodon montensis and Oryzomys nigripes--living in an industrial, an agricultural, and a preservation area at the Itajaí Valley, state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. Our purpose was to evaluate the performance of the following end points in the establishment of a genotoxic profile of each area: the polychromatic/normochromatic cell ratio; the mitotic index; the frequency of micronucleated cells both in the bone marrow and peripheral blood; and the frequency of cells with chromosome aberrations in the bone marrow. Preparations were obtained using conventional cytogenetic techniques. The results showed a) the role of the end points used as biomarkers in the early detection of genotoxic agents and in the identification of species and populations at higher risk; b) the difference in sensitivity of the species selected as bioindicators in relation to the cytogenetic end points analyzed; c) the need to use at least two sympatric species to detect the presence of genotoxins in each locality; and d) the need to use several end points when trying to establish a genotoxic profile of an area.
A DNA segment involved in the regulation of the isopropylbenzene (cumene) catabolism operon (ipb) of plasmid pRE4 from Pseudomonas putida RE204 and the Vibrio fischeri luciferase genes, luxCDABE, were used to create an ipbRo/pA(prm1)-luxCDABE reporter fusion plasmid, pOS25. Escherichia coli HMS174(pOS25) produces light in the presence of inducers of the ipb operon. These inducers were shown to be hydrophobic compounds and to include monoalkylbenzenes, substituted benzenes and toluenes, some alkanes and cycloalkanes, chlorinated solvents, and naphthalenes. Complex hydrocarbon mixtures, such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuels (JP-4 and JP-5), and creosote, were also inducers of ipb-lux. Bacteria carrying the ipb-lux reporter may be useful as bioindicators of hydrocarbon pollution in the environment and may be particularly valuable for examining the bioavailability of inducing pollutants.
The Pacific Estuarine Ecosystem Indicators Research Consortium seeks to develop bioindicators of toxicant-induced stress and bioavailability for wetland biota. Within this framework, the effects of environmental and pollutant variables on microbial communities were studied at different spatial scales over a 2-year period. Six salt marshes along the California coastline were characterized using phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) analysis and terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) analysis. Additionally, 27 metals, six currently used pesticides, total polychlorinated biphenyls and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, chlordanes, nonachlors, dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane, and dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene were analyzed. Sampling was performed over large (between salt marshes), medium (stations within a marsh), and small (different channel depths) spatial scales. Regression and ordination analysis suggested that the spatial variation in microbial communities exceeded the variation attributable to pollutants. PLFA analysis and TRFLP canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) explained 74 and 43% of the variation, respectively, and both methods attributed 34% of the variation to tidal cycles, marsh, year, and latitude. After accounting for spatial variation using partial CCA...
Plant species act as natural bioindicators of atmospheric pollutants. Plants can be used as bioassay systems for monitoring atmospheric pollutants. Plant injury symptoms, altered growth and reproductive pattern, changes in yield and/or productivity, and changes in species distribution can be used singly or in combination as monitoring devices. The results must be accepted as semiquantitative, but within that constraint, air quality can be sufficiently well defined to enable the setting of air quality standards. Genetic variability of higher plant species has yielded cultivars which display a range of tolerance to gaseous and particulate atmospheric pollutants. Asexual propagation of these cultivars provides pollutant-sensitive and pollutant-tolerant plant material which can be grown on selected sites for observation. Gymnosperm and Angiosperm species as well as species of lichens and mosses have been used to establish field monitoring networks in Europe, Canada, and the United States. White pine, shade tobacco, mosses, and lichens have proven particularly useful as bioassay tools. Pollen from pollutant-sensitive and pollutant-tolerant plant cultivars has also been used as a sensitive laboratory bioassay tool for studying air quality. Epiphytic mosses are particularly efficient as monitors of particulate pollutants...
Biofilms are complex aggregates formed by microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and algae, which grow at the interfaces between water and natural or artificial materials. They are actively involved in processes of sorption and desorption of metal ions in water and reflect the environmental conditions in the recent past. Therefore, biofilms can be used as bioindicators of water quality. The goal of this study was to determine whether the biofilms, developed in different aquatic systems, could be successfully discriminated using data on their elemental compositions. Biofilms were grown on natural or polycarbonate materials in flowing water, standing water and seawater bodies. Using an unsupervised technique such as principal component analysis (PCA) and several supervised methods like classification and regression trees (CART), discriminant partial least squares regression (DPLS) and uninformative variable elimination–DPLS (UVE-DPLS), we could confirm the uniqueness of sea biofilms and make a distinction between flowing water and standing water biofilms. The CART, DPLS and UVE-DPLS discriminant models were validated with an independent test set selected either by the Kennard and Stone method or the duplex algorithm. The best model was obtained from CART with 100% correct classification rate for the test set designed by the Kennard and Stone algorithm. With CART...
The heritability of chronic hepatitis in the Labrador Retriever is studied with the aim of identifying the related gene mutation. Identification of cases and controls is largely based on instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) Cu determination in liver biopsies. The burden for these companion animals may be reduced if nail clippings and hair (fur) could serve as a noninvasive indicator for the hepatic Cu concentrations. No correlation was found between hepatic Cu concentrations and Cu concentrations in hair and nail samples. However, hair and nail samples were also analyzed by X-ray tube excitation, taking advantage of the X-ray Compton, Rayleigh, and Raman scattering which reflects the organic components such as the type of melanin. Principal component analysis provided first indications that some differentiation between healthy and sick dogs could indeed be obtained from hair and nail analysis.
Determination of reliable bioindicators of diabetes-induced oxidative
stress and the role of dietary vitamin E supplementation
were investigated. Blood (plasma) chemistries, lipid peroxidation
(LPO), and antioxidant enzyme activities were measured over
12 weeks in New Zealand White rabbits (control, diabetic, and diabetic +
vitamin E). Cholesterol and triglyceride levels did not correlate
with diabetic state. PlasmaLPOwas influenced by diabetes and
positively correlated with glucose concentration only, not cholesterol
or triglycerides. Liver glutathione peroxidase (GPX) activity
negatively correlated with glucose and triglyceride levels. Plasma
and erythrocyte GPX activities positively correlated with glucose,
cholesterol, and triglyceride concentrations. Liver superoxide dismutase
activity positively correlated with glucose and cholesterol
concentration. Vitamin E reduced plasma LPO, but did not affect
the diabetic state. Thus, plasmaLPOwas the most reliable indicator
of diabetes-induced oxidative stress. Antioxidant enzyme activities
and types of reactive oxygen species generated were tissue dependent.
Diabetes-induced oxidative stress is diminished by vitamin E
Field and laboratory research has repeatedly shown that free-living soil nematodes differ in their sensitivity to soil pollution. In this paper, we analyze whether nematode genera proved sensitive or tolerant toward heavy metals and organic pollutants in six long-term field experiments. We discuss overlaps between nematode physiological responses to heavy metals and to organic pollutants, which may explain why nematodes can exhibit co-tolerance toward several contaminants. We propose a simple method for separating direct effects of soil contamination on nematode populations from indirect effects mediated through the food chain. Finally, we analyze the extent to which nematodes exhibited consistent responses across the experiments analyzed. Our results show that (a) indirect effects of pollution were generally strong; (b) fewer nematode genera were tolerant than sensitive; (c) many genera, including practically all Adenophorea, exhibited a common response pattern to contaminants; and (d) several genera of the Secernentea exhibited differential tolerance toward particular pollutants. We conclude that bioindication of soil contamination should preferentially be based on tolerant, and less on sensitive, nematodes. We provide a list of nematode genera that may potentially serve as differential bioindicators for specific soil contaminants.