Biology and Fertility of Soils

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 191–198 | Cite as

In vivo 31P and 1H HR-MAS NMR spectroscopy analysis of the unstarved Aporrectodea caliginosa (Lumbricidae)

  • Delphine Bon
  • Véronique Gilard
  • Stéphane Massou
  • Guénola Pérès
  • Myriam Malet-Martino
  • Robert Martino
  • Franck Desmoulin
Original Paper


This study demonstrates that 31P and 1H high resolution-magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), a recently developed NMR technique, can be applied to the in vivo analysis of metabolites from an unstarved earthworm. The endogeic earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa was cut into lengths and then the different body parts (anterior, middle, posterior) with the gut content were analyzed. With the HR-MAS NMR, metabolites show well-resolved signals, whereas, with conventional NMR, spectra are highly dependent on the gut content. 31P HR-MAS NMR has been used to evaluate the effect of an acute exposure of the earthworm to glyphosate. Our observations support a low toxicity of the herbicide and suggest that glyphosate could be trapped in the cutaneous mucus. Earthworms could therefore play a role in horizontal dispersion and stabilization of glyphosate in the drilosphere. Phosphorylated metabolites, such as phospholombricine and lombricine, were clearly identified and their amount measured during experiments. The 1H HR-MAS NMR method offers the opportunity to measure, on the same sample and simultaneously, both the hydrosoluble metabolites and lipids. The data on lipid location and relative succinate concentration shed light on the physiological and metabolic functions of the different body parts of the earthworm.


Earthworm Ecotoxicology HR-MAS NMR Glyphosate Metabolism 



We thank Dr. Marcus A. Horn (University of Bayreuth, Germany), for the fruitful discussion on earthworm gut microbiota, and Laura Desmoulin, for help to collect earthworms.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Delphine Bon
    • 1
  • Véronique Gilard
    • 1
  • Stéphane Massou
    • 2
  • Guénola Pérès
    • 3
  • Myriam Malet-Martino
    • 1
  • Robert Martino
    • 1
  • Franck Desmoulin
    • 1
  1. 1.Groupe de RMN Biomédicale, Laboratoire SPCMIB, UMR CNRS 5068Université Paul SabatierToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Plateau technique RMN, SFTCM 2599Université Paul SabatierToulouseFrance
  3. 3.UMR 6553 ECOBIO, Equipe Interactions Biologiques et Flux de matières, Station BiologiqueUniversité de Rennes 1PaimpontFrance

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