Golden mussel (Limnoperna fortunei) as a bioindicator in aquatic environments contaminated with mercury: Cytotoxic and genotoxic aspects.


Luís Flávio Souza de Oliveira


Graduate Program in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universidade Federal do Pampa - UNIPAMPA, Uruguaiana, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]


This study evaluated the Limnoperna fortunei (golden mussel) as a bioindicator of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity in aquatic environments contaminated by heavy metals. Five groups of 50 subjects each were exposed to different concentration of mercuric chloride (HgCl2) (0.001 mg/L, group I; 0.005 mg/L, group II; 0.01 mg/L, group II; 0.02 mg/L, group IV; and 0.1 mg/L, group V). The control group for both chronic and acute treatment did not receive HgCl2. For chronic exposure, the respective groups were placed in aquaria with water contaminated with the above concentrations of HgCl2. For acute exposure, the different concentrations of HgCl2 were injected into the posterior adductor muscle of the individuals belonging to the aforementioned groups. The biological matrix used in the tests was the whole body muscle. Tests (cell viability assay, alkaline comet test; enumeration of micronuclei and necrotic cells, quantification of Hg content in tissues and water, and histopathological analysis of tissues), were carried out on the 7th, 15th, and 30th treatment days or 2 h after injection. Our results demonstrated that L. fortunei showed cell damage in both chronic and acute exposure groups. Significant DNA damage was observed at both the 15th (0.1 mg/L) and 30th (0.01-0.1 mg/L) days of chronic exposure. However, in acute treatment all concentrations induced DNA breaks. The presence of necrosis increased at all concentrations tested for both acute and chronic exposure. Tissue mercury retention on the 15th day was higher than on the 30th day of exposure, while in the same period, there was a decrease in the mercury content of aquarium water. Taking the data together, it is concluded that L. fortunei as a possible bioindicator of the quality of aquatic environments.


Bioindicator,Genetic toxicology,Golden mussel,Mutagenicity,

OUR Recent Articles