Mixtures of aluminum and indium induce more than additive phenotypic and toxicogenomic responses in daphnia magna

Nadja R. Brun, Peter D. Fields, Samuel Horsfield, Leda Mirbahai, Dieter Ebert, John K. Colbourne, Karl Fent*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
309 Downloads (Pure)


Aquatic systems are contaminated by many metals but their effects as mixtures on organisms are not well understood. Here, we assessed effects of aluminum with fairly well-known modes of actions and indium, an understudied emerging contaminant from electronics, followed by studying equi-effective mixtures thereof. We report acute and adverse phenotypic effects in Daphnia magna adults and global transcriptomic effects employing RNA sequencing in neonates. The mixture induced more than additive activity in mortality and in physiological effects, including growth and reproduction. Similarly, transcriptomic effects were more than additive, as indicated by a markedly higher number of 463 differentially expressed transcripts in the mixture and by distinct classes of genes assigned to several biological functions, including metabolic processes, suggesting depleted energy reserves, which may be responsible for the observed impaired reproduction and growth. A gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) of a priori known response pathways for aluminum confirmed activation of distinct molecular pathways by indium. Our study is highlighting more than additive effects at the transcriptional and physiological level and is providing a state-of-the art approach to mixture analysis, which is important for risk assessment of these metals and metal mixtures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1639-1649
Number of pages11
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number3
Early online date4 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry


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