Effects of genotoxicity and its consequences at the population level in sexual and asexual Artemia assessed by analysis of inter-simple sequence repeats (ISSR)

Sandhya Sukumaran, Alastair Grant

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16 Citations (Scopus)


There is considerable evidence that genetic damage in organisms occurs in the environment as a result of exposure to genotoxins and ionising radiation, but we have limited understanding of the extent to which this results in adverse consequences at a population level. We used inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers to quantify genotoxic effects of the mutagen ethylmethane sulfonate (EMS) on a sexual (Artemia franciscana) and an asexual (Artemia parthenogenetica) species of brine shrimp. The method provides information similar to that obtained with assessment of RAPD (random amplification of polymorphic DNA) but is more robust. Genetic damage was transmitted to the F1 generation in both Artemia species, but the sexual species showed a greater degree of recovery, as shown by higher values of genomic template stability. There was a strong correlation between DNA damage and effects on individual fitness parameters: size, survival, reproduction and population growth. These effects persisted into the F2 generation in A. parthenogenetica, but in the sexual A. franciscana only effects on fecundity continued beyond the exposed generation, even though there were substantial alterations in ISSR patterns in the F1 generation. Genetic biomarkers can thus be indicative of effects at the population level, but sexually reproducing species have a considerable assimilative capacity for the effects of genotoxins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalMutation Research - Genetic Toxicology and Environmental Mutagenesis
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2013


  • Inter-simple sequence repeats
  • Artemia
  • Ethylmethane sulfonate
  • Genotoxicity
  • Ecotoxicology

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