Evolutionary toxicology: contaminant-induced genetic mutations in mosquitofish from Sumgayit, Azerbaijan | Academic Article individual record

This study builds on a long-term program that has shown Sumgayit, Azerbaijan to contain wetlands with high levels of a diversity of chemical contaminants. Previous contaminant and biomarker studies of turtles and frogs showed a correlation between somatic chromosomal damage and chemical contaminants at Sumgayit. The objective of this study was to determine if a recently arrived species (mosquitofish) has genetic impacts similar to native species (marsh frogs) thus confirming the pattern is not the result of historical events such as glacial cycles, but is associated with recent chemical contamination. Nucleotide sequences of the mtDNA control region of invasive mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) from Sumgayit were compared to mosquitofish from pristine sites in Europe and Azerbaijan and to native North American populations. Persistent heteroplasmy for a hyper-mutable simple sequence repeat and low haplotype and nucleotide diversities were observed in all invasive populations. However, Sumgayit possessed four de novo haplotypes and heteroplasmic conditions. All of the observed variable nucleotide positions were within or adjacent to a cytosine mononucleotide repeat. This repeat was within a conserved secondary structure; the region likely undergoes expansion and contraction at a rate sufficient to prevent fixation of the common 1/3 heteroplasmy. Whereas the 1/3 heteroplasmy appeared coincident with the establishment of mosquitofish in Europe, other forms of heteroplasmy resulted from contaminant-induced de novo mutations in Sumgayit. We conclude that Sumgayit is a mutational hotspot caused by legacy contaminants from chemical factories from the era of the Soviet Union.

author list (cited authors)
Rinner, B. P., Matson, C. W., Islamzadeh, A., McDonald, T. J., Donnelly, K. C., & Bickham, J. W.
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  • Heteroplasmy
  • DNA, Mitochondrial
  • Mutation
  • Introduced Species
  • Gambusia Holbrooki
  • Azerbaijan
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Evolutionary Toxicology
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Base Sequence
  • Induced Mutations
  • Animals
  • Cyprinodontiformes
  • Biological Evolution
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