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PLoS One. 2016 Dec 22;11(12):e0168978. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168978. eCollection 2016.

Effects of Antifouling Biocides on Molecular and Biochemical Defense System in the Gill of the Pacific Oyster Crassostrea gigas.

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Southeast Sea Fisheries Research Institute, National Institute of Fisheries Science, Tongyeong, South Korea.
Unit of Polar Genomics, Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, South Korea.
Department of Marine Science, College of Natural Sciences, Incheon National University, Incheon, South Korea.
Research Institute of Basic Sciences, Incheon National University, Incheon, South Korea.
Institute of Green Environmental Research Center, 169, Gaetbeol-ro, Yeonsugu, Incheon, South Korea.


Antifouling biocides such as organotin compounds and their alternatives are potent toxicants in marine ecosystems. In this study, we employed several molecular and biochemical response systems of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas to understand a potential mode of action of antifouling biocides (i.e. tributyltin (TBT), diuron and irgarol) after exposure to different concentrations (0.01, 0.1, and 1 μg L-1) for 96 h. As a result, all the three antifouling biocides strongly induced the antioxidant defense system. TBT reduced both enzymatic activity and mRNA expression of Na+/K+-ATPase and acetylcholinesterase (AChE). Lower levels of both Na+/K+-ATPase activity and AChE mRNA expression were observed in the diuron-exposed oysters compared to the control, while the irgarol treatment reduced only the transcriptional expression of AChE gene. We also analyzed transcript profile of heat shock protein (Hsp) superfamily in same experimental conditions. All antifouling biocides tested in this study significantly modulated mRNA expression of Hsp superfamily with strong induction of Hsp70 family. Taken together, overall results indicate that representative organotin TBT and alternatives have potential hazardous effects on the gill of C. gigas within relatively short time period. Our results also suggest that analyzing a series of molecular and biochemical parameters can be a way of understanding and uncovering the mode of action of emerging antifouling biocides. In particular, it was revealed that Pacific oysters have different sensitivities depend on the antifouling biocides.

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