Chromosomal aberrancy and the level of fluctuating asymmetry in black-striped mouse (Apodemus agrarius): effects of disturbed environment
Authors:Veličković, Miroslava V.
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Analysis of chromosomal aberrations in bone marrow cells and determination of the level of fluctuating asymmetry (FA) for eight bilateral cranial traits were used to estimate effects of disturbed environment on natural populations of small mammals. During the spring and fall of 1994-2000 (except in 1999) black-striped juice (Apodemus agrarius) were collected from a polluted industrial area (Pancevo) and from an unpolluted reference site (Cer) in Serbia and Montenegro. Mice from the polluted area had significantly higher mean number of aberrant cells per individual than those in the reference site (p < 0.01). Both sexes had the greater number of lesions in the polluted site than in the reference one. Also, there were no significant differences between sexes, neither within the same site/season nor between sites/seasons. Chi-square analysis of the difference between lesions per individual and aberrant cells per individual among sites showed that no site deviated from the expected difference (p = 1.000). Developmental stability, assessed as FA, was reduced in the polluted area for two traits (width of lower jaw and length of the diastema lower jaw). Juvenile animals from the polluted area had significantly higher levels of FA compared to those from the reference site for three traits (length of the foramina incisiva, distance between incisor and the third upper molar, and length of the upper molars row). Juvenile animals from the polluted area had significantly higher levels of FA for three traits (length of the foramina incisiva, length of the lower molars row and width of lower jaw) compared to adult ones. In the polluted area seasonal differences were detected for two traits (length of the foramina incisiva and length of the upper molars row). Finally, Apodemus agrarius may be an important species for environmental quality evaluation studies based on an assay using a combination of end-points.