Genotoxic effects of cadmium and influence on fitness components of Lymantria dispar caterpillars
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© 2016 Elsevier Ltd.
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The current study extends our previous findings concerning the sensitivity of Lymantria dispar larvae to cadmium in light of ecotoxicological risk assessment. Here we report the results of the comet assay performed for the first time on this species. We examined the chronic effects of two cadmium concentrations (50 and 100 mg Cd/g dry food) on DNA integrity and haemocyte viability, as well as on fitnessrelated traits (larval mass and development duration parameters). All parameters were assessed individually and then used to calculate the integrated biomarker response (IBR) index. Egg-masses of L. dispar were collected from two locations in Serbia - the uncontaminated Homolje mountains and a metal-polluted area near Bor copper mines, smelter and refinery. Distinctive patterns in the response of these populations to cadmium exposure were noticed. In haemocytes of larvae from the pollution-free location both cadmium treatments increased the level of DNA damage, although in a similar range. Haemocyte viability and larval mass were reduced, while duration of the fourth instar and total development time were prolonged in a concentration-dependent manner. Cadmium tolerance was noticeable in the population from the metal-contaminated site at all organizational levels. Nevertheless, haemocyte viability in that population was reduced by the stronger treatment. Haemocyte viability was recognized as a promising biomarker due to the evident response of both populations to dietary cadmium. Genotoxicity, fitness-related traits and the IBR index could be used for biomonitoring of sensitive populations not previously exposed to metals.