The effect of Pb + Zn on coelomocyte riboflavin content in the epigeic earthworm Dendrodrilus rubidus inhabiting three metalliferous soils and one reference soil was measured by flow cytometry and spectrofluorimetry. A reciprocal polluted↔unpolluted worm transfer experiment (4-week exposure) was also performed. High proportions of autofluorescent eleocytes were counted in worms from all localities, but intense riboflavin-derived autofluorescence was detectable only in reference worm eleocytes. Other findings were: (i) fluorophore(s) other than riboflavin is/are responsible for eleocyte autofluorescence in residents of metalliferous soils; (ii) riboflavin content was reduced in the eleocytes of worms transferred from unpolluted to metal-polluted soil; (iii) the riboflavin content of D. rubidus eleocytes is a promising biomarker of exposure; (iv) COII mitochondrial genotyping revealed that the reference population is genetically distinct from the three mine populations; (v) metal exposure rather than genotype is probably the main determinant of inter-population differences in eleocyte riboflavin status.
Plytycz, B., Lis-Molenda, U., Cygal, M., Kielbasa, E., Grebosz, A., Duchnowski, M., Andre, J., & Morgan, A. J. (2009). Riboflavin content of coelomocytes in earthworm (Dendrodrilus rubidus) field populations as a molecular biomarker of soil metal pollution. Environmental Pollution, 157(11), 3042-3050. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2009.05.046