John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Life history traits and the activity of antioxidative enzymes in Lymantria dispar L. (lepidoptera, lymantriidae) larvae exposed to benzo[a]pyrene

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Increased presence of benzo[a]pyrene in the environment underlines the need for development of sensitive biomarkers for monitoring. Antioxidative enzymes could be used as early‐warning signals because of their sensitivity and applicability. The activity of 2 antioxidative enzymes, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT), were measured in midgut tissues of fifth instar Lymantria dispar larvae exposed to different concentrations of benzo[a]pyrene: 2 ng, 10 ng, 20 ng, 100 ng, 200 ng, and 2000 ng benzo[a]pyrene/g dry food weight. Larval development, larval mass, and relative growth rate were also monitored. The authors detected prolonged larval development, as well as reduced larval mass and relative growth rate in larvae exposed to all benzo[a]pyrene concentrations. The L. dispar midgut SOD activity was significantly increased, and 2 SOD isoforms were detected on native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in larvae fed on artificial diet supplemented with benzo[a]pyrene. In contrast, the control group had only 1 isoform. Catalase activity was significantly increased in all benzo[a]pyrene‐treated larvae. Native gel electrophoresis showed that a switch in active CAT isoforms occurred after benzo[a]pyrene treatment. Thus, SOD and CAT in polyphagous herbivorous L. dispar larvae are very sensitive to low concentrations of benzo[a]pyrene. Therefore, they could be used as biomarkers for exposure and effects of this toxic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;9999:1–7. © 2015 SETAC

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