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Integration of genotoxicity and population genetic analyses in kangaroo rats (Dipodomys merriami) exposed to radionuclide contamination at the Nevada Test Site, USA

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

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Abstract

We examined effects of radionuclide exposure at two atomic blast sites on kangaroo rats (Dipodomys merriami) at the Nevada Test Site, Nevada, USA, using genotoxicity and population genetic analyses. We assessed chromosome damage by micronucleus and flow cytometric assays and genetic variation by randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analyses. The RAPD analysis showed no population structure, but mtDNA exhibited differentiation among and within populations. Genotoxicity effects were not observed when all individuals were analyzed. However, individuals with mtDNA haplotypes unique to the contaminated sites had greater chromosomal damage than contaminated-site individuals with haplotypes shared with reference sites. When interpopulation comparisons used individuals with unique haplotypes, one contaminated site had greater levels of chromosome damage than one or both of the reference sites. We hypothesize that shared-haplotype individuals are potential migrants and that unique-haplotype individuals are potential long-term residents. A parsimony approach was used to estimate the minimum number of migration events necessary to explain the haplotype distributions on a phylogenetic tree. The observed predominance of migration events into the contaminated sites supported our migration hypothesis. We conclude the atomic blast sites are ecological sinks and that immigration masks the genotoxic effects of radiation on the resident populations.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Integration of genotoxicity and population genetic analyses in kangaroo rats (Dipodomys merriami) exposed to radionuclide contamination at the Nevada Test Site, USA
Series title:
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Volume
20
Issue:
2
Year Published:
2001
Language:
English
Publisher:
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Publisher location:
Pensacola, FL
Contributing office(s):
Biological Resources Division
Description:
10 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
317
Last page:
326
Number of Pages:
10
Time Range Start:
1991-04-01T12:00:00
Time Range End:
1991-05-26T12:00:00
Country:
United States
State:
Nevada
Other Geospatial:
Department Of Energy Nevada Test Site