Population Genetic Structure of Earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus) in Soils Contaminated by Heavy Metals

John D. Peles, William I. Towler, Sheldon I. Guttman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The genetic structure of earthworm (Lumbricus rubellus) populations from plots (N = 3) contaminated by sewage sludge (containing Cd, Cu, Pb, Zn) and reference plots (N= 3) was compared. Earthworms (N = 30-40 per plot) were collected during May 2000 and electrophoretic analyses were used to assess genetic variation at three polymorphic loci (GPI, LAP, PGM). Allele and genotype frequencies for GPI and PGM differed significantly between sludge and reference populations. Sludge populations were characterized by a reduced frequency of the most common genotype and allele at these loci, and the presence of alleles not found in the reference population. Allele and genotype frequencies did not differ significantly among individual plots within the sludge or the reference population. These results suggest that certain alleles and genotypes may be more sensitive to the effects of heavy metals. Multi-locus heterozygosity was significantly higher in the sludge population compared to the reference population; the proportion of individuals heterozygous at two or more loci was more than 15% higher in the sludge population. Results demonstrate that measures of population genetic structure in earthworms may represent useful biological indicators for the assessment of impacted terrestrial habitats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-386
Number of pages8
JournalEcotoxicology
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003

Fingerprint

Oligochaeta
Genetic Structures
Population Genetics
Sewage sludge
Heavy Metals
earthworm
genetic structure
population genetics
Sewage
allele
Soil
sludge
heavy metal
Soils
genotype
Population
Genotype
Alleles
Gene Frequency
bioindicator

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

Cite this

Peles, John D. ; Towler, William I. ; Guttman, Sheldon I. / Population Genetic Structure of Earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus) in Soils Contaminated by Heavy Metals. In: Ecotoxicology. 2003 ; Vol. 12, No. 5. pp. 379-386.
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Population Genetic Structure of Earthworms (Lumbricus rubellus) in Soils Contaminated by Heavy Metals. / Peles, John D.; Towler, William I.; Guttman, Sheldon I.

In: Ecotoxicology, Vol. 12, No. 5, 01.10.2003, p. 379-386.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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