The use of biomarkers in Daphnia magna toxicity testing

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Abstract

We investigated the effect of short-term exposure to cadmium and 2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid on the digestive physiology of Daphnia magna and the consequences for the bioenergetics of the organism. In both cases, ingestion was more drastically reduced compared to digestive enzyme activity. Furthermore a differential shift in catabolism was noted: in general polysaccharidases were less affected than the enzymes responsible for protein and lipid digestion. Comparison of the ‘1 h in vivo fluorescence' criterion (Janssen & Persoone, 1993) with the ingestion and digestive enzyme activity revealed that this rapid screening assay should be considered as a quantification of ingestion inhibition rather than a methodology assessing digestive enzyme inhibition.

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