Effect of the exposure to metal lead on the regenerative ability of Lumbriculus variegatus (Oligochaeta)


Lumbriculus variegatus is a recommended species for use in sediment toxicity tests and is known to have a remarkable power of segmental regeneration. Here, we tested the effects of a chemical stressor on the regenerative ability of L. variegatus and investigated the potential of regenerative ability as an additional new parameter in standard toxicity tests. The worms were cut into two equal segments, and exposed to various concentrations of lead. Two assays were performed: one with sediment spiked with lead and the other with water spiked with lead. The endpoints were segmental regeneration, survival and behaviour. Regenerative ability was clearly affected by exposure to lead-contaminated sediment and lead-contaminated water. Organisms exposed to lead grew more slowly than those not exposed; worms exposed to contaminated water showed higher mortalities than those exposed to contaminated sediment. Results showed that L. variegatus' regenerative ability, as a developmental test parameter, is more sensitive than mortality. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.



subject category

Environmental Sciences & Ecology; Pharmacology & Pharmacy; Toxicology


Sardo, AM; Pereira, L; Gerhardt, A; Soares, AMVM

our authors


The authors would like to express their gratitude to Matti Leppanen and to Jussi Kukkonen for so kindly providing us the worms for starting our culture. The authors would also like to acknowledge Ann Grand for the English revision. The work was supported by FCT contract reference POCTI/BSE/48131/2002 (Almut Gerhardt) and FCT contract reference SFRH/BPD/8345/2002 (Almut Gerhardt). This work was also supported by a FCT PhD grant attributed to Ana Margarida Sardo (reference SFRH/BD/16313/2004).

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