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Accumulation, elimination, sequestration, and genetic variation of lead (Pb2+) loads within and between generations of Drosophila melanogaster

Peterson, Elizabeth K., Wilson, Diane T., Possidente, Bernard, McDaniel, Phillip, Morley, Eric J., Possidente, Debra, Hollocher, Kurt T., Ruden, Douglas M., Hirsch, Helmut V.B.
Chemosphere 2017 v.181 pp. 368-375
Drosophila melanogaster, adults, atomic absorption spectrometry, eclosion, genetic variation, larvae, lead, longevity, models, phenotypic variation, progeny, pupae, quantitative trait loci, toxicity, variance
We examined accumulation, sequestration, elimination, and genetic variation for lead (Pb) loads within and between generations of Drosophila melanogaster. Flies were reared in control or leaded medium at various doses and tested for their Pb loads at different stages of development (larvae, eclosion, newly-eclosed adults, and mature adults). Pb loads were tested using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). We found that D. melanogaster readily accumulated Pb throughout their lifespan and the levels of accumulation increased with Pb exposure in the medium. Wandering third-instar larvae accumulated more Pb than mature adults; this phenomenon may be due to elimination of Pb in the pupal cases during eclosion and/or depuration in adults post-eclosion. The accumulated Pb in mature adults was not transferred to F1 mature adult offspring. Using a set of recombinant inbred strains, we identified a quantitative trait locus for adult Pb loads and found that genetic variation accounted for 34% of the variance in Pb load. We concluded that D. melanogaster is a useful model organism for evaluating changes in Pb loads during development, as well as between generations. Furthermore, we found that genetic factors can influence Pb loads; this provides an essential foundation for evaluating phenotypic variation induced by the toxic effects of Pb.