Multilevel effects of sublethal fenitrothion exposure in Chironomus riparius Mg. (Diptera, Chironomidae) larvae

Jinhee Choi, Thierry Caquet, Hélène Roche

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23 Scopus citations


The effects of fenitrothion exposure on fourth-instar Chironomus riparius larvae were investigated on biochemical, physiological, and population-level parameters. Biochemical effects were investigated through measurements of acetylcholinesterase and cytosolic superoxide dismutase activities. Water content and dry weight of the larvae were used as physiological parameters, and the emergence rate of adults was used as a descriptor of population-level effects. Results showed that the response of most parameters exhibited a concentration-dependent relationship. Although biochemical parameters proved to be very sensitive, no direct relation was observed with effects at a higher level of biological organization. Perturbations of osmoregulation, as reflected by changes in water content of the larvae, were more directly related with emergence failure. This study demonstrates that the use of several biological parameters can provide complementary information about the effects of chemical exposure. Therefore, use of a multilevel approach in C. riparius seems to be a promising way to diagnose environmental quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2725-2730
Number of pages6
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2002


  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Chironomus riparius
  • Fenitrothion
  • Osmoregulation
  • Superoxide dismutase


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