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Chironomids are a globally distributed family of insects that can serve as biological indicators of environmental pollution. Substituted benzenes are a group of serious environmental pollutants and severely threaten biological and human health. In order to investigate potential stress
biomarkers of substituted benzenes, the effects of 4-chlorophenol and p-phenylene diamine on superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase (GST), carboxylesterase (CarE), acid phosphatase (ACP) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activities of 4th-instar larval Propsilocerus
akamusi were investigated. During 48 h exposure to 4-chlorophenol and p-phenylene diamine, the larval CAT, SOD, GST and CarE activities responded to 4-chlorophenol and p-phenylene diamine in a concentration-and time-dependent way. The ACP and ALP activities of larval P. akamusi
responded slowly to 4-chlorophenol and p-phenylene diamine, and only the ALP activities were inhibited significantly under the exposure to p-phenylene diamine for 6 and 24 h. These results suggest that CAT, SOD, GST and CarE activities of chironomids can be used as potential stress biomarkers
to monitor 4-chlorophenol and p-phenylene diamine pollution.