Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants

Title

MICROCYSTIN IN LITTLE BROWN BATS (MYOTIS LUCIFUGUS) FOLLOWING CONSUMPTION OF ADULT MAYFLIES OF THE GENUS HEXAGENIA

Department

Biology Department

College

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Disciplines

Life Sciences

Abstract

Microcystin (MC) is a hepatotoxin, implicated globally in the poisoning of humans, livestock and other organisms (Sivonen and Jones 1999). Substantial research documents potential accumulation and transfer of MC from one ecosystem component to another within aquatic ecosystems (Mohamed 2001; Vasconcelos 1995; Kotak et al. 1996; Falconer et al. 1992), and between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems (Miller et al. 2010, Stewart et al. 2008). Since bat consumption of mayflies was determined by Clare et al. (2011), and mayfly nymphs of the genus Hexagenia were demonstrated to contain MC (Smith et al. 2008), it is possible that if bats consume adult Hexagenia spp., they will be exposed to MC. We analyzed MC equivalents from adult Hexagenia spp. and fecal material from a maternal colony of little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) collected from Leelanau County, Michigan, USA in June 2013, using enzyme linked immuno-sorbent assay. All Hexagenia spp. (mean = 325.40 ng/g ± 51.72, n = 25) and M. lucifugus (mean = 262.10 n/g ± 31.08, n = 20) samples contained MC. Hexagenia consumption by bats was verified in fecal material using polymerase chain reaction. Greater understanding of the fate of MC and the potential impact of MC in terrestrial ecosystems is imperative for management of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.

Conference Name

Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting

Conference Location

Portland, OR

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