, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 1165–1173 | Cite as

Cholinesterase activities and behavioral changes in Hypsiboas pulchellus (Anura: Hylidae) tadpoles exposed to glufosinate ammonium herbicide

  • Paola M. Peltzer
  • Celina M. Junges
  • Andrés M. Attademo
  • Agustín Bassó
  • Paula Grenón
  • Rafael C. Lajmanovich


In this study, amphibian tadpoles of Hypsiboas pulchellus were exposed to herbicide Liberty®, which contains glufosinate ammonium (GLA), for 48 h to the following concentrations: 0 (control), 3.55, 4.74, 6.32, 8.43, 11.25, 15, 20, 26.6, and 35.5 mg GLA L−1. Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activities, as well as swimming capabilities (swimming speed and mean distance) were measured in tadpoles whose concentrations displayed survival rates >85 %. Our results reveal that sublethal concentrations of GLA significantly inhibited both AChE and BChE activities in tadpoles with respect to the control, showing a concentration-dependent inhibitory effect. The highest inhibition percentages of AChE (50.86 %) and BChE (53.02 %) were registered in tadpoles exposed to 15 mg GLA L−1. At this concentration, a significant increase of the swimming speed and mean distance were found in exposed tadpoles with respect to the control, as well as a negative and significant correlation between swimming speed and BChE activity, thus suggesting that this enzyme inhibition is related to an increase in swimming speed. Therefore, exposure of tadpoles to GLA in the wild at concentrations similar to those tested here may have adverse consequences at population level because neurotransmission and swimming performance are essential for tadpole performance and survival.


Cholinesterases Swimming activity Herbicide Tadpoles 



This study was supported in part by Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET) [11220100100009], Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANCyT) [1522], and Curso de Acción para la Investigación y Desarrollo (CAI+D-UNL) [2011014]. We also thank two anonymous reviewers who made invaluable comments and suggestions and J. Brasca for English Editing Service.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paola M. Peltzer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Celina M. Junges
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrés M. Attademo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Agustín Bassó
    • 2
  • Paula Grenón
    • 2
  • Rafael C. Lajmanovich
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  2. 2.Ecotoxicology Laboratory, Faculty of Biochemistry and Biological Sciences (FBCB-UNL)Ciudad UniversitariaSanta FeArgentina

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