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Electrophoretic evidence of esterase inhibition in larval caddisflies exposed to inorganic mercury

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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.

Keywords: ELECTROPHORESIS; ESTERASE; INHIBITION; MERCURY; TRICHOPTERA

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/106143097X125407

Publication date: March 1, 1997

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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