Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Total Environ. 2012 May 1;424:130-42. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.02.029. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

Haemocytic leukemia in Prince Edward Island (PEI) soft shell clam (Mya arenaria): spatial distribution in agriculturally impacted estuaries.

Author information

1
Environment Canada, Water Science & Technology Directorate, 867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON, Canada L7R 4A6. amuttray@rescan.com

Abstract

Intensive farming of potatoes in Prince Edward Island (PEI) relies on the repeated and widespread application of fertilizers and pesticides. In PEI the main potato farming areas are in close proximity and drain directly to estuaries. Runoff from high agricultural activity watersheds could impact benthic organism health in the depositional zone of downstream estuaries. The estuarine filter feeder Mya arenaria (soft-shell clam) could be particularly vulnerable to both particle-adsorbed and water soluble contaminants. M. arenaria is susceptible to haemocytic leukemia. In May 2009, we established that heavily proliferated leukemia (HPL) prevalence was generally higher in PEI estuaries located downstream of high intensity potato farming (Dunk and Wilmot estuaries) watersheds than in estuaries downstream of lower intensity areas. Using Mab-1E10 based immunocytochemistry we observed that leukemic haemocytes from the Dunk and Wilmot estuaries were 1E10 negative whereas those from the Ox/Sheep estuary (low potato farming intensity) were 1E10 positive. The expression of genes in the p53 tumour suppressor pathway enabled us to differentiate groups of leukemic and normal M. arenaria, validating our diagnoses. In October 2009, we confirmed that HPL prevalence was elevated in the Dunk and Wilmot estuaries compared to reference (Souris River). Moreover, leukemia prevalence declined with distance from the river mouths along transects through the Dunk and Wilmot estuaries. The pesticides ß-endosulfan and α-endosulfan were detected in surface sediments from the Dunk and Wilmot estuaries, but not in sediments from either the Souris River or several other lower intensity potato farming watersheds. Our study provides evidence of an association between intensity of potato farming and prevalence of clam leukemia at downstream estuaries in PEI.

PMID:
22425172
DOI:
10.1016/j.scitotenv.2012.02.029
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center