Gonadal antioxidant responses to seawater acidification and hypoxia in the marine mussel Mytilus coruscus

This study investigated the combined effects of seawater acidification and hypoxia on the antioxidant response in gonads of the thick shell mussel Mytilus coruscus. Mussels were collected along the Shengsi Island, East China Sea, where oxygen and pH fluctuations frequently occur in summer. Mussels were exposed to three pH (8.1, 7.7, and 7.3) and two dissolved oxygen (DO) levels (6 and 2 mg L−1) for 21 days followed by a 10-day recovery period (pH 8.1 and DO 6 mg L-1). Gonad surface area (GSA) and activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), glutathione (GSH), glutathione S-transferase (GST), and malondialdehyde (MDA) in gonad were measured at days 21 and 31. Complex and enzyme-specific responses were observed after the 21-day exposure period. Overall, PCA analysis revealed a stronger effect of pH than DO. Integrated biomarker response (IBR) analysis demonstrated that low pH and DO decreased mussel’s antioxidant system and increased oxidative damage with potential consequences for gonad development. Mussels exposed to low pH and DO were only partly able to recover a normal enzymatic activity after 10-day recovery period. This suggests that mussels exposed to short-term pH and DO fluctuations event in the field may suffer lasting negative impacts.

Xu G., Kong H., Chang X., Dupont S., Chen H., Deng Y., Hu M. & Wang Y., in press. Gonadal antioxidant responses to seawater acidification and hypoxia in the marine mussel Mytilus coruscus. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. Article (subscription required).

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