In-vitro effects of sub-lethal concentrations of malathion, phenanthrene (Phe) and cadmium (Cd) were tested on Chironomus sancticaroli larvae in acute bioassays by measuring biochemical and molecular parameters. Malathion was evaluated at 0.001, 0.0564 and 0.1006 mg L-1; Phe at 0.0025, 1.25 and 2.44 mg L-1; and Cd at 0.001, 3.2 and 7.4 mg L-1. The recovery test carried out at the highest concentration of each compound showed that survival of larvae exposed to Phe ranged from 4% to 5%, while the effects of malathion and Cd were irreversible, not allowing the emergence of adults. Results showed that malathion and Cd inhibited AChE, EST-α and ES-β activities at the two highest concentrations. Phe at 0.0025, 1.25 and 2.44 mg L-1; and Cd at 3.2 and 7.4 mg L-1 inhibited glutathione S-transferase activity. Oxidative stress was exclusively induced by the lowest concentration of malathion considering SOD activity once CAT was unaffected by the stressors. Lipid peroxidation was registered exclusively by malathion at the two highest concentrations, and total hemoglobin content was only reduced by Cd at the two highest concentrations. The relationship among biochemical results, examined using the PCA, evidenced that malathion and Cd concentrations were clustered into two groups, while Phe only formed one group. Four hemoglobin genes of C. sancticaroli were tested for the first time in this species, with Hemoglobin-C being upregulated by malathion. The toxicity ranking was malathion > Phe > Cd, while biochemical and molecular results showed the order malathion > Cd > Phe. Our results highlight the importance of combining different markers to understand the effects of the diverse compounds in aquatic organisms.
- Metallic species
- Non-biting midges
- Single exposure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis