Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 5453–5468 | Cite as

Identification of a putatively multixenobiotic resistance related Abcb1 transporter in amphipod species endemic to the highly pristine Lake Baikal

  • Vasiliy V. Pavlichenko
  • Marina V. Protopopova
  • Maxim Timofeyev
  • Till Luckenbach
Research Article


The fauna of Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia, the largest freshwater body on Earth, is characterized by high degrees of biodiversity and endemism. Amphipods, a prominent taxon within the indigenous fauna, occur in an exceptionally high number of endemic species. Considering the specific water chemistry of Lake Baikal with extremely low levels of potentially toxic natural organic compounds, it seems conceivable that certain adaptions to adverse environmental factors are missing in endemic species, such as cellular defense mechanisms mitigating toxic effects of chemicals. The degree to which the endemic fauna is affected by the recently occurring anthropogenic water pollution of Lake Baikal may depend on the existence of such cellular defense mechanisms in those species. We here show that endemic amphipods express transcripts for Abcb1, a major component of the cellular multixenobiotic resistance (MXR) defense against toxic chemicals. Based on a partial abcb1 cDNA sequence from Gammarus lacustris, an amphipod species common across Northern Eurasia but only rarely found in Lake Baikal, respective homologous sequences were cloned from five amphipods endemic to Lake Baikal, Eulimnogammarus verrucosus, E. vittatus, E. cyaneus, E. marituji, and Gmelinoides fasciatus, confirming that abcb1 is transcribed in those species. The effects of thermal (25 °C) and chemical stress (1–2 mg L−1 phenanthrene) in short-term exposures (up to 24 h) on transcript levels of abcb1 and heat shock protein 70 (hsp70), used as a proxy for cellular stress in the experiments, were exemplarily examined in E. verrucosus, E. cyaneus, and Gammarus lacustris. Whereas increases of abcb1 transcripts upon treatments occurred only in the Baikalian species E. verrucosus and E. cyaneus but not in Gammarus lacustris, changes of hsp70 transcript levels were seen in all three species. At least for species endemic to Lake Baikal, the data thus indicate that regulation of the identified amphipod abcb1 is triggered within the general cellular stress response. This is the first report presenting molecular data on a MXR transporter in amphipods, an ecotoxicologically important but with regard to gene sequence data comparatively little explored taxon.


Amphipoda Amphipods Abcb1 Environment-tissue barrier hsp70 Lake Baikal Multixenobiotic resistance MXR P-glycoprotein 



This study was financially supported by scholarships from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) and the Russian Ministry of Education and Science (“Mikhail Lomonosov” Programme), by an international DAAD scholarship, by a Erasmus Mundus (MULTIC II) scholarship, and by the bilateral funding program “Helmholtz-Russia Joint Research Groups” (HRJRG) from the Helmholtz Association and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) (LabEglo project HRJRG-221). The authors particularly want to thank Dr. Nils Klüver for valuable advice, Benjamin Knoll and Mirko Pietsch for technical support in the lab, Ute Lohse for sequencing, Silke Aulhorn for phenanthrene analysis with HPLC, and Dr. Denis Axenov-Gribanov and students of Irkutsk State University for field sampling and exposure experiments. The authors also thank the crew of the scientific boat “Professor Kozhov” for help in organization of field expeditions; the Baikal Analytical Center for Collecting Use SB RAS; the heads of Irkutsk State University (A.V. Arguchintsev), Siberian Institute of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry (V.K. Voinikov and G.B. Borovskii), and Institute of Biology at Irkutsk State University (N.I. Granina) for financial and technical support of expedition work on Lake Baikal and financial support of Russian co-authors during the work under this manuscript. The experimental work on Lake Baikal and the salary of V.V. Pavlichenko and M.V. Protopopova during the study and work under the manuscript were partly supported by the Federal Target Program “Kadry” (Projects NK-267P and NK-366P) and by grants from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) no 14-04-31681 mol_a and no 14-04-31350 mol_a.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vasiliy V. Pavlichenko
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marina V. Protopopova
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maxim Timofeyev
    • 2
    • 3
  • Till Luckenbach
    • 4
  1. 1.Siberian Institute of Plant Physiology and BiochemistrySiberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences (SIPPB SB RAS)IrkutskRussia
  2. 2.Irkutsk State UniversityIrkutskRussia
  3. 3.Institute of Biology at Irkutsk State UniversityIrkutskRussia
  4. 4.Department of Bioanalytical EcotoxicologyUFZ—Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany

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