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Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 2007 Nov;79(5):504-7. Epub 2007 Jul 26.

Susceptibility of a carabid beetle, Pterostichus oblongopunctatus fab., from a gradient of heavy metal pollution to additional stressors.

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School of Biology, Ridley Building, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK.


Insects inhabiting contaminated areas show increased susceptibility to other stressors, the purpose of this study was to investigate whether this phenomenon had a genetic basis. We investigated changes in susceptibility to food deprivation and insecticide (dimethoate) treatment of the ground beetle Pterostichus oblongopunctatus originating from four populations situated along a metal pollution gradient. To determine whether the increased susceptibility to additional stressors found in field-exposed animals from chronically metal-polluted sites had a genetic basis, our research was conducted on the second generation of laboratory-reared animals. There was no difference in susceptibility to the additional stressors indicating that the differences between populations observed in earlier studies do not have a genetic basis.

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