The expression of hemoglobin (Hb) genes has considerable potential as a biomarker for environmental monitoring in Chironomus. However, no sequence information is available regarding Hb genes in Propsilocerus akamusi (Tokunaga), thus the change in Hb mRNA gene expression caused by environmental pollutants remains unknown. In this study, we cloned two Hb gene fragments (PaHbV and PaHbVII) from P. akamusi, analyzed the expression patterns of the PaHbV and PaHbVII transcripts in different tissues using Real-Time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), and also measured the Cd levels in different tissues exposed to a sublethal concentration. The results showed significantly increased Cd concentrations and tissue-specific Cd distribution patterns in all of the tissues tested, including the hemolymph, during all time courses. A model describing the roles of specific tissues in Cd uptake and accumulation dynamics was also determined. The Malpighian tubules, gut, and epidermis were the primary sites of Cd accumulation, whereas the hemolymph was the temporary target organ of Cd accumulation, with the Cd being transferred to other internal tissues via the hemolymph. The relative mRNA expression profiles of PaHbV and PaHbVII indicated that their expression levels differed across the different tissues, indicating a tissue-specific response. Our results suggested a reverse effect between Hb expression and Cd accumulation during long-term Cd exposure in comparison with previous studies. The expressions of Hb genes in P. akamusi could be developed as biomarkers for assessing the general health conditions of freshwater ecosystems.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2017
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