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Environ Monit Assess. 2011 Jun;177(1-4):375-84. doi: 10.1007/s10661-010-1640-z. Epub 2010 Aug 12.

Imposex and butyltin concentrations in Bolinus brandaris (Gastropoda: Muricidae) from the northern Tunisian coast.

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  • 1Faculty of Sciences of Bizerta, Laboratory of Environment Bio-monitoring, University of 7th November at Carthage, 7021 Zarzouna, Bizerta, Tunisia.

Abstract

The imposex incidence and butyltin concentration i.e. tributyltin with its di- and mono-substituted metabolites were investigated in the muricid Bolinus brandaris sampled from two sites on the northern Tunisian coast (the Lagoon of Bizerta and the small Gulf of Tunis). Both populations had imposex, with stages of imposex development varying between VDS 1 and VDS 4.3. All imposex indices (imposex frequency (I %), female penis length, female vas deferens length, vas deferens sequence index, relative penis length index, and vas deferens length index) were significantly higher in snails from the Bizerta lagoon. Butyltins were detected in the whole tissues of both sexes from the two sites. TBT levels were higher in gastropods collected from the lagoon of Bizerta (12.65 ±1.48 ng Sn g( - 1) dw in female and 15.21 ±1.13 ng Sn g( - 1) dw in male) than in individuals from the Gulf of Tunis (10.71 ±1.26 ng Sn g( - 1) dw in female and 11.65 ±1.63 ng Sn g( - 1) dw in male), corroborating the data of imposex analysis. These results confirmed that B. brandaris could be used as a bioindicator species of butyltin pollution in the studied areas. In addition, this study provided baseline data that could serve for long-term monitoring of TBT pollution in Tunisia, since legislation to reduce the use of TBT-based antifouling paints has not been introduced yet.

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