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Changes in Membrane Phospholipids as a Mechanistic Explanation for Decreased Freeze Tolerance in Earthworms Exposed to Sublethal Copper Concentrations

Author:
  • Anne-Mette Bindesbol
  • Mark Bayley
  • Christian Damgaard
  • Katarina Hedlund
  • Martin Holmstrup
Publishing year: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 5495-5500
Publication/Series: Environmental Science & Technology
Volume: 43
Issue: 14
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: The American Chemical Society

Abstract english

At low temperature, cell membrane functionality depends on adjustments of membrane phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) composition. We here test the hypothesis that previous exposure to copper (Cu) may deteriorate tolerance to freezing temperatures because of Cu-induced changes of PLFA composition of cell membranes in the freeze-tolerant earthworm Dendrobaena octaedra. Cu levels and freezing temperatures were varied in a full factorial design. We measured PLFA composition and lipid peroxidation. A highly significant interaction was observed between subzero temperatures and Cu concentrations above 120 mg/kg dry soil. Lipid peroxidation increased slightly in worms exposed to Cu. In particular, the analysis showed that Cu had a significant negative effect on the polyunsaturated PLFA, linoleic acid (18:2 omega 6,9), which has previously been reported to correlate positively (R-2 = 0.92) with freeze tolerance in D. octaedra. This supports our hypothesis that reduced tolerance to freezing temperatures in Cu-exposed worms may be due to membrane damage.

Keywords

  • Ecology
  • Earth and Related Environmental Sciences

Other

Published
  • Soil Ecology
  • ISSN: 1520-5851
Katarina Hedlund
E-mail: katarina.hedlund [at] biol.lu.se

Professor

Biodiversity

+46 46 222 37 98

+46 72 562 10 04

E-A321

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Researcher

Centre for Environmental and Climate Research (CEC)

+46 46 222 37 98

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Centre for Animal Movement Research
Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Biology
Ecology building S-223 62 Lund Sweden