Variation in DNA content of blood cells of largemouth bass from contaminated and uncontaminated waters

Susan F. Lingenfelser, Cham E. Dallas, Charles H. Jagoe, Michael H. Smith, I. Lehr Brisbin, Ronald K. Chesser

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11 Scopus citations


Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were collected from locations with and without documented histories of pollution in Georgia and South Carolina. Whole blood samples were collected from over 3,000 bass and analyzed by flow cytometry to measure changes in cellular DNA content and cell cycle distribution. The coefficient of variation (CV) of the cell cycle phase G0/G1 peak was used as a measure of variation in DNA content within an individual. The mean CV varied significantly among locations, and some locations with known chemical or radioactive contaminants had higher CVs. Plotting the frequency distribution of CV values for each site revealed greater skewness and kurtosis in most locations with known contaminants. In each case, a right skewness indicated higher proportions of bass with unusually high CV in these locations. Aneuploid-like patterns were detected in the DNA histograms of five fish, all from locations with histories of contamination. The percentage of cells distributed among phases of the cell cycle (G0/G1, S, and G2/M) varied significantly among locations, but there was no apparent relationship to contaminant distribution. Differences in CV and frequency of aneuploids among sites with and without histories of pollution were generally small, but increased variation in DNA content may be associated with contaminant exposure at some locations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2136-2143
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Toxicology and Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1997


  • Aneuploidy
  • Coefficient of variation
  • Flow cytometry
  • Largemouth bass


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