Subcellular selenium (Se) distributions in the oligochaete Tubifex tubifex and in the insect Chironomus riparius did not vary with Se exposure duration, which was consistent with the observations that the duration of prey Se exposure had little influence on either Se assimilation or loss by a predatory insect (the alderfly Sialis velata). However, these two prey types differed in how Se was distributed in their cells. Overall, the predator assimilated a mean of 66% of the Se present in its prey, which was similar to the mean percentage of Se in prey cells (62%) that was theoretically available for uptake (that is, Se in the protein and organelle fractions). Likewise, data for cadmium, nickel and thallium suggest that predictions of trace element transfer between prey and predator are facilitated by considering the subcellular partitioning of these contaminants in prey cells. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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