Assessing Genotoxicity and Mutagenicity of Three Common Amphibian Species Inhabiting Agroecosystem Environment

  • Macks Wendhell Gonçalves
  • Calebe Bertolino Marins de Campos
  • Fernanda Ribeiro Godoy
  • Priscilla Guedes Gambale
  • Hugo Freire Nunes
  • Fausto Nomura
  • Rogério Pereira Bastos
  • Aparecido Divino da Cruz
  • Daniela de Melo e SilvaEmail author


Amphibians are constantly exposed to pollutants and the stress of agricultural activities. We selected three anuran amphibian species Dendropsophus minutus, Boana albopunctata, and Physalaemus cuvieri, totaling 309 individuals. We collected tadpoles in 15 permanent ponds: 5 soybean crops, 3 corn crops, and 7 nonagricultural lands. Our study provides the first comparative data on the genotoxicity and mutagenicity of three common amphibian anurans. Dendropsophus minutus was the most vulnerable species compared with B. albopunctata and P. cuvieri for comet assay and micronuclei test. However, the more significant amount of DNA damage seen in D. minutus does not mean that their populations are threatened once such species adapt well to anthropogenic disturbances. Despite, P. cuvieri was less sensitive than the other two species; the DNA damage was significantly higher in soybean crops. Physalaemus cuvieri is a leptodactylidae species that deposit their eggs in foam nests, which are essential to protect eggs from dehydration. Moreover, the foam reduces the contact of eggs with water; thus, P. cuvieri eggs could be less exposed to contaminants present in pounds, compared with D. minutus and B. albopunctata, which deposit their eggs directly in the water. Therefore, this study was sufficiently sensitive to detect genotoxic and mutagenic effects in tadpoles exposed to agroecosystems. We strongly suggest D. minutus in future biomonitoring studies that involve the comparison of anthropized versus not anthropized environments. Overall, we recommend the comet assay and micronucleus test as effective methods for the detection of genotoxic damage in amphibian anurans to the environmental disturbance, especially in agricultural sites.

Graphic Abstract



The authors thank Projeto Girinos do Brasil (Edital SISBIOTA: Processos CNPq 563075/2010-4 and FAPESP 2010/52321-7) and FAPEG (Processos: 201210267001094 – Universal/2012 and 201210767000812 - Pronex). ADC, DMS, FN, and RPB thank the CNPq fellowship, and MWG, FRG, HFN, and PG thank the individuals and organizations that have granted their scholarships.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Macks Wendhell Gonçalves
    • 1
    • 5
  • Calebe Bertolino Marins de Campos
    • 1
    • 5
  • Fernanda Ribeiro Godoy
    • 5
  • Priscilla Guedes Gambale
    • 4
  • Hugo Freire Nunes
    • 1
  • Fausto Nomura
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rogério Pereira Bastos
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Aparecido Divino da Cruz
    • 5
  • Daniela de Melo e Silva
    • 1
    • 3
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Campus II, Itatiaia, Laboratório de Mutagênese, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Genética e Biologia Molecular, Departamento de Genética, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas 1Universidade Federal de GoiásGoiâniaBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Evolução, Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal de GoiásGoiâniaBrazil
  3. 3.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biodiversidade AnimalUniversidade Federal de GoiásGoiâniaBrazil
  4. 4.Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia de Ambientes Aquáticos ContinentaisUniversidade Estadual de MaringáMaringáBrazil
  5. 5.Departamento de Biologia, Núcleo de Pesquisas RepliconPontifícia Universidade Católica de GoiásGoiâniaBrazil

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