U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska



Blair D. Siegfried

Date of this Version



Published in Pesticide Biochemistry and Physiology 89 (2007) 104–110.


Previous studies performed in our laboratory have measured the effect of atrazine exposure on cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenase activity and have found increased activity in midge larvae (Chironomus tentans) as a result of atrazine exposure (1– 10 ppm). Here we report the cloning and expression of a specific C. tentans CYP4 gene that is responsive to atrazine induction with an open reading frame of 1678 bp which encodes a putative protein of 559 amino acid residues. Alignments of deduced amino acid sequences with other insect P450 genes and phylogenetic analysis indicated a high degree of similarity to other insect CYP4 genes. Northern blotting analysis employing a fragment of 1200 bp from the CYP4 gene as a probe indicated that the CYP4 gene was expressed in all developmental stages, but was expressed at highest levels in late instar larvae. Additionally, over-expression of CYP4 in C. tentans exposed to atrazine (10 mg/l) confirms the ability of atrazine to induce specific P450 genes and provides insight into potential consequences of atrazine exposure in aquatic organisms.