Plastic responses of larval mass and alkaline phosphatase to cadmium in the gypsy moth larvae
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Biochemical analyses can point to toxicant presence before its effects can be detected at higher organizational levels. We investigated responses of larval mass and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) to different cadmium treatments in 4th instar gypsy moth larvae from 20 full-sib families. Changes in trait values and trait plasticities as well as their variation were monitored after acute and chronic exposure or recovery from two cadmium concentrations (Cd(1) = 10 mu g and Cd(2) = 30 mu g Cd/g dry food). Larval mass only decreased, without returning to the control level at recovery stage following chronic cadmium challenge. Acute stress did not change trait value but increased genetic variance of larval mass. Significant ALP activity changes, sensitivity of isozyme patterns (Mr of 60, 64, and 85 kDa) and increased variation in ALP plasticity during acute exposure to cadmium point to its possible aplication as an exposure biomarker. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.