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Mutat Res. 2006 Jun 16;605(1-2):78-86. Epub 2006 May 11.

DNA damage and repair in haemolymph cells of golden mussel (Limnoperna fortunei) exposed to environmental contaminants.

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  • 1GENOTOX/Centro de Biotecnologia/PPG em Biologia Celular e Molecular, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, UFRGS, Av. Bento Gonçalves, Prédio 43421, Campus do Vale, Caixa Postal 15005, CEP 91501970, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil.


The development of methodologies for biomonitoring freshwater ecosystems is of particular relevance in view of the serious problem of aquatic environmental pollution. The mussel species Limnoperna fortunei (golden mussel) was chosen to be tested as a biomonitor organism based on its population data and distribution. L. fortunei individuals were exposed to UV radiation in vitro, and in vivo to pentachlorophenol (PCP) and copper sulphate (CuSO(4)), with the aim of standardizing comet assay and micronucleus test methodologies and evaluating the potential of this organism as a biomonitor. Haemolymph cells immobilized in agarose on slides exposed to UV radiation showed a dose-response relationship with maximum damage at 4.2J/m(2). For the chemical tests, individuals were exposed for 2h for the comet assay and 24 and 48h for the micronucleus test. A dose-response relationship was observed for both chemicals. 3x10(-5)M CuSO(4) induced high genotoxicity, also producing some toxicity after 48h of exposure. PCP induced maximum damage in both assays at 150mug/L. Individuals exposed to PCP showed 100% repair 2h after the exposure period, as assessed by the comet assay. Exposure to an environmental sample over 7 days confirmed the mussel sensitivity to water contaminants, detected both by the comet assay and the micronucleus test. The results allow us to suggest the golden mussel as a potential biomonitor organism.

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