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Effects of two-hour exposure to environmental and high concentrations of methylmercury on the transcriptome of the macrophyte Elodea nuttallii

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Published in Aquatic Toxicology. 2018, vol. 194, p. 103-111
Abstract The effects of two methylmercury (CH3Hg+, MeHg) concentrations, representative of environmental level and extreme contamination, were investigated on the macrophyte Elodea nuttallii during a 2h-exposure combining transcriptomic (RNA-Seq), physiological endpoints (pigment contents, activity of anti-oxidative stress enzymes) and bioaccumulation. Exposure to MeHg induced the up- and down-regulation of numerous genes (4389 and 16853 for 10 ng L−1 and 10 μg L−1 MeHg exposure, respectively) involved in sugar, amino acid and secondary metabolism (e.g. cinnamic acid, flavonoids) at both concentrations. Genes coding for photosynthesis, membrane integrity, metal homeostasis, water transport and anti-oxidative enzymes were additionally up- and down-regulated at the higher concentration. At the physiological level, exposure to both MeHg concentrations resulted in a strong increase of anthocyanin content in shoots. Chlorophyll content and antioxidant enzyme activities were unchanged. The data suggest that the macrophyte was able to efficiently cope with the stress resulting from MeHg exposure, possibly by using anthocyanin as anti-oxidant and S-rich amino acids (such as cysteine and methionine) as chelators. Transcriptomics analysis enabled gaining novel insights on molecular effects of MeHg in primary producers, which are one of the main entry pathway of hazardous MeHg in aquatic food webs.
Keywords AnthocyaninMacrophyteOxidative stressPhotosynthesisUptake
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Structures
Research groups Environmental Biogeochemistry and Ecotoxicology
ISE Eau
ISE Pôle Sciences
Projects FNS: 205321_138254
FNS: 200020_157173
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(ISO format)
BEAUVAIS-FLUECK, Rebecca, SLAVEYKOVA, Vera, COSIO, Claudia. Effects of two-hour exposure to environmental and high concentrations of methylmercury on the transcriptome of the macrophyte Elodea nuttallii. In: Aquatic Toxicology, 2018, vol. 194, p. 103-111. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:99705

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Deposited on : 2017-11-27

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