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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 218929, 7 pages
Research Article

Comparative Genotoxicity of Cadmium and Lead in Earthworm Coelomocytes

1Biology Department, Faculty of Science, Silpakorn University, Nakorn Pathom 73000, Thailand
2Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Lincoln University, Canterbury, Lincoln 7647, New Zealand

Received 1 December 2010; Accepted 11 March 2011

Academic Editor: Marco Trevisan

Copyright © 2011 Ptumporn Muangphra and Ravi Gooneratne. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To determine genotoxicity to coelomocytes, Pheretima peguana earthworms were exposed in filter paper studies to cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) for 48 h, at concentrations less than the LC10—Cd: 0.09, 0.19, 0.38, 0.75, and 1.50 μg cm−2; Pb: 1.65, 3.29, 6.58, 13.16, and 26.32 μg cm−2. For Cd at 0.75 μg cm−2, in the micronucleus test (detects chromosomal aberrations), significant increases ( 𝑃 < . 0 5 ) in micronuclei and binucleate cells were observed, and in the comet assay (detects DNA single-strand breaks), tail DNA% was significantly increased. Lead was less toxic with minimal effects on DNA, but the binucleates were significantly increased by Pb at 3.29 μg cm−2. This study shows that Cd is more acutely toxic and sublethally genotoxic than Pb to P. peguana. Cadmium caused chromosomal aberrations and DNA single-strand breaks at 45% of the LC10 concentration. Lead, in contrast, did not induce DNA damage but caused cytokinesis defects.