Esterases in marine dinoflagellates and resistance to the organophosphate insecticide parathion
Keywords:dinoflagellates, esterases, organophosphates, parathion, resistance to pesticides
AbstractEsterases are involved in the susceptibility or resistance of organisms to organophosphate pesticides. We have examined the action of parathion on the marine dinoflagellates Crypthecodinium cohnii and Prorocentrum micans by looking at their esterases. One-dimensional gel electrophoresis, immunoblotting and cytochemistry plus image analysis were used to characterize the nature and distribution of the enzymes. Esterases were found in both species, but there appeared to be no particular intracellular localization. The esterase activity of the heterotrophic species Crypthecodinium cohnii was 30-fold greater than that of the autotrophic Prorocentrum micans and had an antigenic site in common with mosquito esterase. The resistance of Crypthecodinium cohnii to parathion was specific and reversible. Less parathion entered the parathion-resistant Crypthecodinium cohnii cells than the untreated control cells. Parathion-resistant cell extracts of Crypthecodinium cohnii analyzed after immunoblotting also contained an additional band of esterase activity. These results confirm the importance of esterases in toxicological studies of organophosphate insecticides, especially those of marine dinoflagellates.
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