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Mar Pollut Bull. 2018 Apr;129(2):512-524. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.10.022. Epub 2017 Oct 14.

Assessing the effect of mercury pollution on cultured benthic foraminifera community using morphological and eDNA metabarcoding approaches.

Author information

1
Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Urbino, 61029 Urbino, Italy. Electronic address: fabrizio.frontalini@uniurb.it.
2
MARUM, 28359 Bremen, Germany.
3
Department of Earth Science, Rome University "Sapienza", 00185 Roma, Italy.
4
Department of Genetics and Evolution, University of Geneva, 1211 Genève, Switzerland.
5
Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e del Mare (DiSTeM), Università di Palermo, 90123 Palermo, Italy.
6
UMR CNRS 6112 LPG-BIAF, University of Angers, France.
7
Departamento de Zooloxía e Antropoloxía Física, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 27002 Lugo, Spain.
8
Univ. Lille, CNRS, Univ. Littoral Cote d'Opale, UMR 8187, LOG, Laboratoire d'Océanologie et de Géosciences, F 59 000 Lille, France.
9
Department of Pure and Applied Sciences, University of Urbino, 61029 Urbino, Italy.

Abstract

Mercury (Hg) is a highly toxic element for living organisms and is known to bioaccumulate and biomagnify. Here, we analyze the response of benthic foraminifera communities cultured in mesocosm and exposed to different concentrations of Hg. Standard morphological analyses and environmental DNA metabarcoding show evidence that Hg pollution has detrimental effects on benthic foraminifera. The molecular analysis provides a more complete view of foraminiferal communities including the soft-walled single-chambered monothalamiids and small-sized hard-shelled rotaliids and textulariids than the morphological one. Among these taxa that are typically overlooked in morphological studies we found potential bioindicators of Hg pollution. The mesocosm approach proves to be an effective method to study benthic foraminiferal responses to various types and concentrations of pollutants over time. This study further supports foraminiferal metabarcoding as a complementary and/or alternative method to standard biomonitoring program based on the morphological identification of species communities.

KEYWORDS:

Benthic foraminifera; Biomonitoring; Mercury pollution; Metabarcoding

PMID:
29033170
DOI:
10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.10.022
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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