Flow cytometry used to assess genetic damage in frogs from farm ponds

Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
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Flow cytometry (FC) is a laboratory method used to detect genetic damage induced by environmental contaminants and other stressors in animals, including amphibians. We tested FC methods on three species of ranid frogs collected from farm ponds and natural wetlands in southeastern Minnesota. We compared FC metrics for Rana clamitans between ponds with direct exposure to agricultural contaminants and reference (unexposed) ponds. Concentrations of atrazine in water from our farm ponds ranged from 0.04 to 0.55 ppb. We found that R. clamitans from exposed ponds had DNA content similar to frogs from unexposed ponds. Pond-averaged C-values (a measure of DNA content) ranged from 6.53 to 7.08 for R. pipiens (n . 13), 6.55 to 6.60 for R. clamitans (n . 40) and 6.74 for R. palustris (n . 5). Among all species, the mean sample CVs ranged from 1.91 (R. palustris) to 6.31 (R. pipiens). Deformities were observed in only 2 of 796 individuals among all species and occurred in both reference and exposed ponds. Although we did not detect evidence of DNA damage associated with agriculture in our study, we demonstrated the potential of FC for screening amphibian populations for genetic damage. Metrics from a variety of amphibian species and locations as well as laboratory studies are needed to further assess the value of FC for monitoring amphibian genetic integrity in contaminated sites.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Flow cytometry used to assess genetic damage in frogs from farm ponds
Series title Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
Volume 111
Issue 3,4
Year Published 2004
Language English
Contributing office(s) Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center
Description pp. 67-70
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
First page 67
Last page 70