Oxidative Stress and Acetylcholine Esterase Enzyme Activity of African Night Crawler (Eudrilus eugeniae) as Affected by Pesticides

Rosalyn Pascual Alburo, Lora Mae G. Villegas, Hemres M. Alburo, Pet Roey L. Pascual, Benedique C. Valdez, Zildjian C. Pactol


The repeated application of pesticides in agricultural farms has led to chronic contamination of cropped soils, high leaching potential to water bodies, and adverse eects on soil biota like earthworms. African nightcrawlers (Eudrilus eugeniae), a soil horizon dweller worm is now being heavily utilized in the xation of solid wastes in the Philippines. Its limited mobility in soil displacement makes it ideal as biota sample in exposure assessment studies using the top pesticides used in the agricultural farms in Barangay Mantalongon, Dalaguete, Cebu, Philippines. The potential toxic eects of dierent nominal concentrations of Malathion
57EC and Selecron 500EC (a.i. profenofos) to E. eugeniae were investigated using thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and acetylcholinesterase enzyme (AChE) inhibition activity. Results revealed that both organophosphates caused signicant oxidative stress in terms of TBARS. Nominal concentration of 51.51 g/mL is the threshold limit of the earthworms for Malathion and at higher concentration, will cause inactivation of its anti-oxidative enzymes. Profenofos TBARS, on the other hand, started to decline on day 14 indicative of E. eugeniae's ability to metabolize the pesticide. Regarding AChE activity, only LC50 concentration of Malathion 57EC, 103.0 g/mL and Selecron, 2.88 g /cm2 signicantly aected E. eugeniae with the highest inhibitory eects on day 28 of the exposure. Correlation analysis showed that AChE inhibition is dose and exposure-time dependent while the TBARS is only exposure-time dependent. This implies that both biochemical assays are good indicators in evaluating the toxicity posed by Malathion 57EC in Eudrilus eugeniae
while only AChE activity can be used to measure the extent of adverse eects of Selecron 500EC. Thus, Eudrilus eugeniae can be a potential early indicator of pesticide contamination in soil.


Eudrilus eugeniae; African nightcrawler; TBARS; AChE activity; Malathion; Selecron


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