Silver accumulation in Daphnia magna in the presence of reactive sulfide

Bianchini, Adalto; Rouleau, Claude; Wood, Chris


Previously, we demonstrated a higher silver body burden when Daphnia magna were exposed to silver in the presence of environmentally relevant concentrations (25 nM) of reactive sulfide, but the explanation was unclear. In the present study, D. magna were exposed to AgNO3 (0.93_g Ag/L = 8.6nM as a mixture of cold Ag and 110mAg) in synthetic water in either the presence or absence of 25nM sulfide as zinc sulfide clusters. After 1-h exposure, daphnids were transferred to clean water for up to 5-h depuration. At different times of Ag exposure and depuration, daphnids were randomly sampled for whole body silver burden. Also, after 1 h, daphnids were sampled for silver accumulation in “gills” (small organs on the thoracic appendages), digestive tract, and carcass. Other groups were exposed to the same silver and sulfide concentrations for 1 h and then sampled for whole-body autoradiography. Silver body burden was about two-fold higher in the presence of sulfide. A two-fold increase in silver burden in “gills” and digestive tract, but not in carcass, was also observed in the presence of sulfide. Absolute differences due to sulfide were greatest in digestive tract and explained most of the difference in whole body burden. Transfer to clean water caused a significant drop in silver concentration in whole body and all compartments to similar levels in the two groups after 5-h depuration. These results indicate that the higher silver body burden observed in the presence of sulfide is mainly due to sulfide-bound silver in the digestive tract of the daphnids. This conclusion is supported by autoradiography, which showed a high concentration of silver in the digestive tract of daphnids exposed to Ag/sulfide.

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