The current study evaluated the possible toxic effects of the water-soluble fraction of crude oil on the general cellular stress-response mechanisms of two dominant representatives of Lake Baikal’s littoral community, the endemic amphipod species Eulimnogammarus verrucosus and E. cyaneus. The acute toxicity effects on the cellular stress-response mechanisms of amphipods were studied in the laboratory by exposing amphipods in water from Lake Baikal to addition of a water-soluble fraction of crude oil at concentrations considered safe for the aquatic environment. The present study found that even short-term exposure to a water-soluble fraction of crude oil at concentration of 50 µg/L, established as the threshold limit for fishery and aquaculture water reservoirs in the Russian Federation, directly affected the general stress-response markers HSP70 and lipid peroxidation and significantly changed the activity of antioxidant enzymes in both studied species. This result confirms the high sensitivity of Baikal endemics to crude oil. Thus, it also indicates that established standards and threshold limit values of oil concentrations estimated for ecological monitoring of general water reservoirs cannot be applied directly to the unique Lake Baikal ecosystem.
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Sodium dodecyl sulfate
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean pipeline
Heat shock proteins
Nitro blue tetrazolium
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This study was primarily supported by Russian Science Foundation grant no. 14-14-00400; additional experiments were supported by RSF project no. 17-14-01063 (in 2017). Also, field research was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (15-29-01003, 16-34-60060, 16-34-00687, 15-04-06685), Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (6.1387.2017/4.6), and Lake Baikal Foundation. This support is gratefully acknowledged.
Handling editor: Eric Larson
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Littoral amphipod species employed in the study. Eulimnogammarus cyaneus (upper) is an amphipod species endemic to Lake Baikal with size up to 15 mm from telson to rostrum. Its typical color is blue with red antennae. This species is omnivorous and inhabits rocky shores. It is a representative species of the upper-littoral zone. Approximately 90% of E. cyaneus individuals are found in the upper-littoral zone (less then 0.5 m), which is the environment with most fluctuating conditions in the lake. Eulimnogammarus verrucosus (lower) is an amphipod species endemic to Lake Baikal with size up to 45 mm from telson to rostrum. Its common color is green with black stripes across the body segments and antennae. The eyes are very slender, and the segments of the meta- and urosome are armored by thorns. This species is omnivorous and inhabits rocky substrata close to shore down to 10–15 m water depth. Both species are typical representatives of littoral community along Lake Baikal shoreline (DOCX 1164 kb)
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Shchapova, E.P., Axenov-Gribanov, D.V., Lubyaga, Y.A. et al. Crude oil at concentrations considered safe promotes rapid stress-response in Lake Baikal endemic amphipods. Hydrobiologia 805, 189–201 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-017-3303-3
- Lake Baikal
- Eulimnogammarus verrucosus
- E. cyaneus
- Oil toxicity
- Stress response
- Lipid peroxidation
- Antioxidant enzymes