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Cellular biomarkers for monitoring estuarine environments: transplanted versus native mussels
Nigro, M.; Falleni, A.; Del Barga, I.; Scarcelli, V.; Lucchesi, P.; Regoli, F.; Frenzilli, G. (2006). Cellular biomarkers for monitoring estuarine environments: transplanted versus native mussels. Aquat. Toxicol. 77(4): 339-347.
In: Aquatic Toxicology. Elsevier Science: Tokyo; New York; London; Amsterdam. ISSN 0166-445X, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Biomarkers; Brackishwater environment; Brackishwater molluscs; Damage; DNA; Ecotoxicology; Mytilus galloprovincialis Lamarck, 1819 [WoRMS]; MED, Mediterranean [Marine Regions]; Marine; Brackish water
Author keywords
    biomarkers; ecotoxicology; DNA damage; lysosomal alterations; mussel;micronucleus test

Authors  Top 
  • Nigro, M.
  • Falleni, A.
  • Del Barga, I.
  • Scarcelli, V.
  • Lucchesi, P.
  • Regoli, F.
  • Frenzilli, G.

    In developed countries, estuarine environments are often subjected to chemical pollution, whose biological impact is profitably evaluated by the use of multi-biomarker approaches on sentinel species. In this paper, we investigate genotoxicity and lysosomal alterations in the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis), from the estuary of the River Cecina (Tuscany, Italy), selected as “pilot basin” within the Water Frame Directive (2000/60 European Community). Both native and 1 month transplanted mussels were used in order to compare these two approaches in terms of sensitiveness of specific biomarker responses. Genotoxic effects were evaluated as strand breaks, by single cell gel electrophoresis (or Comet assay), and as chromosomal alterations, by the micronucleus test in gill cells. Lysosomal alterations were assessed by the neutral red retention time (in haemocytes), lipofuscin accumulation and ultrastructure (in digestive cells). Heavy metal bioaccumulation was also analysed.

    Mussels from the River Cecina showed a general alteration of all the biomarkers investigated, accompanied by an elevation of tissue metal levels. However, some differences in specific responses occurred between transplanted and native mussels. Early biomarkers, such as those based on DNA and lysosomal membrane integrity, were induced at similar degree in native and transplanted mussels; while alterations resulting from cumulative events, as the increase of micronuclei frequency were much more elevated in native specimens (23.1 ± 7.6) than in transplanted (9.3 ± 4.7) and reference ones (5.8 ± 5.2). Similarly, the comparison between lipofuscin accumulation and mean lysosomal diameter in impacted and control sites, gave significant differences exclusively with transplanted mussels. These results suggest that the parallel use of caged and native mussels in environmental biomonitoring can improve the characterization of the study area.

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