Electrophoretic evidence of esterase inhibition in larval caddisflies exposed to inorganic mercury
Abstract:In an previous 72-hr mercury bioassay with the larval caddisfly Nectopsyche albida, electrophoretically detectable esterase activity was absent in exposed individuals that succumbed to mercury toxicity, while nine other enzymes remained active hours after death. Esterase activity also persisted in unexposed individuals (Benton and Guttman, 1992a, b). To test the effects of mercury exposure duration on esterase activity, additional larval N. albida were exposed under conditions identical to those in the earlier bioassay, and esterase activity in live individuals was tested electrophoretically every 12 hr. To test the effects of mercury concentration on esterase activity, unexposed N. albida larvae were electrophoresed, and the esterase-specific stain was spiked with various concentrations of mercury. Electrophoretic banding patterns were then densitometrically quantified to identify changes in esterase activity with exposure duration and mercury concentration. Results suggest that: inorganic mercury inhibited esterase activity in N. albida, inhibition increased with exposure duration, and inhibition increased with mercury concentration.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1997-03-01
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