Fukushima: Study finds deformities “significantly higher” in sample of Fukushima insects — “To my knowledge, such deformations have not previously been reported” in species — Lower body split in half, 2 tail-like appendages — Genetic investigation in Fukushima area an “urgent issue”…


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From ENENEWS

Morphological abnormalities in gall-forming aphids in a radiation-contaminated area near Fukushima Daiichi: selective impact of fallout?, Ecology and Evolution (Journal), Shin-ichi Akimoto, Graduate School of Agriculture at Hokkaido University, 2014:

Excerpts from Abstract: “This study compared the morphology and viability of gall-forming aphids between the Fukushima population and control populations […] 13.2% exhibited morphological abnormalities, including four conspicuously malformed individuals […] In contrast, in seven control areas […] abnormal morphology accounted for 0.0–5.1% (on average, 3.8%). The proportions of abnormalities and mortality were significantly higher in Fukushima […] this result suggests that radioactive contamination had deleterious effects”

Excerpts on Morphological Abnormalities: “Ecological and genetic investigations in the Fukushima area are an urgent issue. […] Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects [and] possess several metrical characters, which would facilitate the detection of morphological abnormalities. […] I collected closed galls of Tetraneura aphid species […] 32 km from the Fukushima Daiichi […] I report frequent occurrences of morphological abnormalities and mortalities […] possibility of an initial, detrimental impact of fallout. […] I collected a total of 284 galls […] June 2012. […] from the Fukushima area [which] were compared with 1559 T. sorini first instars from seven control areas and 1677 T. nigriabdominalis first instars from six control areas […] The abnormalities were classified into three categories […] Of the 167 T. sorini first instars collected in Fukushima, 13.2% exhibited any of the abnormalities […] the samples from Ukiha, Fukuoka Prefecture, exhibited no abnormalities. Of the samples from Sapporo in 1990, 5.1% exhibited level-1 abnormalities, and this value was the maximum found in the control areas. The incidence of morphological abnormalities in Fukushima was significantly higher than that in other areas […] on average, 3.8% for other areas. The Fukushima samples were peculiar because they contained four level-3 malformed individuals. One of the individuals had a bifurcated abdomen with 2 caudae [an] intense malformation […] The second […] had an empty, distended abdomen and a projection on the joint of the mid-femur and tibia; [possibly] a homologous leg structure. The third […] bore a large protuberance on the abdomen [and a] solid protuberance at the base of the mid-femur. [The fourth] had 1 hind leg with apical segments missing due to necrosis and another hind leg that was atrophied […] except for Fukushima, a level-3 malformation was found only once in 1559 individuals (0.064%). […] In T. radicicola, for which only three galls were collected [and] exhibited abnormalities in all of the galls. […] one exhibited necrosis in three legs […] and one lost a mid-tibia […] Fukushima samples notably contained not only many aberrant first instars but also five highly deformed first instars […] To my knowledge, such deformations have not previously been reported in aphids. […] The proportion of abnormalities detected in Fukushima was probably underestimated because seriously deformed first instars were selected out before gall formation […] Evidence from this study suggests that of several potential factors, radioactive fallout from Fukushima […] is most likely to have had the strongest effect”

Excerpts on Mortality: “In Fukushima was 14.4%, which was significantly higher than the mortality in Iwamizawa (1.9%–3.2%) […] The larval mortality of T. nigriabdominalis […] in the Fukushima population (16.9%) was significantly higher than that in the Sapporo population (1.3%) […] Comparison with a Hokkaido population suggests that [those] in Fukushima more often fail to develop […] Such high mortality during development”

View all the published photos here
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