Planarian behavioural endpoints in ecotoxicology


Planarian behavioural endpoints in ecotoxicology: A case study evaluating mercury and salinity effects





Freshwater planarians can be useful for the evaluation of contaminant stress on behavioral endpoints. In this work, we studied the sensitivity of the freshwater planarian Girardia tigrina in response to two model stressors (Hg and NaCl) by evaluating mortality, feeding rate and locomotion. A simple feeding assay with G. tigrina was devised, and an automated tracking system was used to evaluate locomotion. The estimated 96 h LC50s were 176.8 μg L−1 of Hg and 6.79 g L−1 of NaCl. Acute effects of Hg also included the disintegration of tissues, and loss of pigmentation. Acute effects of NaCl included motionlessness and rupture of the tegument. Hg and NaCl sub-lethal exposures caused feeding inhibition and locomotion impairment. This study demonstrates the usefulness of planarians for ecotoxicological research and that sensitive behavioral endpoints can evaluate the sub-lethal impacts of stressors to freshwater invertebrates.


Fátima C.P.SimãoAndreia C.M.RodriguesAmadeu M.V.M.SoaresJoão L.T.Pestan


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