Riboflavin content of coelomocytes in earthworm (Dendrodrilus rubidus) field populations as a molecular biomarker of soil metal pollution

Barbara Plytycz, Urszula Lis-Molenda, Malgorzata Cygal, Edyta Kielbasa, Anna Grebosz, Michał Duchnowski, Jane Andre, A. John Morgan

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3042-3050
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Issue number11
Early online date21 Jun 2009
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


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