Heavy metals are of interest because they are often present at significant levels in the environment and can have severe effects on the aquatic environment. To examine the effects of oxidative stress induced by heavy metals on chironomids, the full-length cDNA of ribosomal protein S3 (RpS3) from Chironomus riparius was determined using molecular cloning. The basal expression of the RpS3 gene was not affected by changes in environmental rearing conditions such as temperature, media, and sediment type. However, RpS3 gene expression in C. riparius increased significantly in response to exposure to cadmium, copper, and lead, regardless of the exposure level. These results suggest that expression of the RpS3 gene, which is associated with the DNA repair process, may be used as an indicator of oxidative stress induced by heavy metals during environmental risk assessment.
Key words: Chironomus riparius, ribosomal protein S3, cadmium, copper; lead, environmental risk assessment.
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