Dechlorane Plus induces oxidative stress and decreases cyclooxygenase activity in the blue mussel

Dechlorane Plus (DP) is a chlorinated flame retardant used mainly in electrical wire and cable coating, computer connectors, and plastic roofing materials. Concentrations of DP (syn and anti isomers) are increasingly being reported in aquatic ecosystems worldwide. However, there is exceedingly little information on the exposure-related toxicity of DP in aquatic organisms, especially in bivalves. The objective of this study was to investigate the in vivo and in vitro effects of DP exposure on histopathology, lipid peroxidation (LPO) levels, cyclooxygenase (COX) activity, phagocytosis capacity and efficiency, and DNA strand breakage in the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) following a 29 days exposure (0.001, 0.01, 0.1 and 1.0 μg DP/L). Blue mussels accumulated DP in muscle and digestive gland in a dose-dependent manner. LPO levels in gills were found to increase by 82% and 67% at the 0.01 and 1.0 μg DP/L doses, respectively, while COX activity in gills decreased by 44% at the 1 μg/L dose. No histopathological lesion was found in gonads following DP exposure. Moreover, no change in hemocyte DNA strand breakage, phagocytosis rate, and viability was observed following DP exposure. Present study showed that toxicity of DP may occur primarily via oxidative stress in the blue mussel and potentially other bivalves, and that gills represent the most responsive tissue to this exposure.

Pierre-Luc Gagné, Marlène Fortier, Marc Fraser and al., Aquatic Toxicology, Volume 188, July 2017, Pages 26-32

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Fate and stability of polyamide-associated bacterial assemblages after their passage through the digestive tract of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis

We examined whether bacterial assemblages inhabiting the synthetic polymer polyamide are selectively modified during their passage through the gut of Mytilus edulis in comparison to the biopolymer chitin with focus on potential pathogens. Specifically, we asked whether bacterial biofilms remained stable over a prolonged period of time and whether polyamide could thus serve as a vector for potential pathogenic bacteria. Bacterial diversity and identity were analysed by 16S rRNA gene fingerprints and sequencing of abundant bands. The experiments revealed that egested particles were rapidly colonised by bacteria from the environment, but the taxonomic composition of the biofilms on polyamide and chitin did not differ. No potential pathogens could be detected exclusively on polyamide. However, after 7 days of incubation of the biofilms in seawater, the species richness of the polyamide assemblage was lower than that of the chitin assemblage, with yet unknown impacts on the functioning of the biofilm community.

Katharina Kesy, Alexander Hentzsch, Franziska Klaeger, Sonja Oberbeckmann, Stephanie Mothes, & Matthias Labrenz, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Available online 12 August 2017, In Press, Corrected Proof

The article

Adherence of microplastics to soft tissue of mussels: A novel way to uptake microplastics beyond ingestion

Microplastic pollution is recognized as an emerging threat to aquatic ecosystems. One of the main environmental risks associated with microplastics is their bioavailability to marine organisms. Up to date, ingestion has been widely accepted as the sole way for the animals to uptake microplastics. Nevertheless, microplastics have also been found in some organs which are not involved in the process of ingestion. We hypothesize that the animal might uptake microplastics through adherence in addition to ingestion. To test this hypothesis, we collected mussels from the fishery farms, conducted exposure/clearance experiments and analyzed the accumulation of microplastics in specific organ of mussels. Our studies clearly showed the uptake of microplastic in multiple organs of mussels. In the field investigations, we found that the abundance of microplastic by weight but not by individual showed significant difference among organs, and the intestine contained the highest level of microplastics (9.2 items/g). In the uptake and clearance experiment, the accumulation and retention of microfibers could also be observed in all tested organs of mussels including foot and mantle. Our results strongly suggest that adherence rather than ingestion led to the accumulation of microplastics in those organs which are not involved in ingestion process. To our best knowledge, it is the first time to propose that adherence is a novel way for animals to uptake microplastics beyond ingestion. This new finding makes us rethink about the bioavailability, accumulation and toxicity of microplastics to aquatic animals.

Prabhu Kolandhasamy, Lei Su, Jiana Li, Xiaoyun Qu, Khalida Jabeen, Huahong Shi, Science of The Total Environment, Volumes 610–611, 1 January 2018, Pages 635-640

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Blue mussels (Mytilus edulis spp.) as sentinel organisms in coastal pollution monitoring: A review

The blue mussel (Mytilus spp.) is widely used as a bioindicator for monitoring of coastal water pollution (mussel watch programs). Herein we provide a review of this study field with emphasis on: the suitability of Mytilus spp. as environmental sentinels; uptake and bioaccumulation patterns of key pollutant classes; the use of Mytilus spp. in mussel watch programs; recent trends in Norwegian mussel monitoring; environmental quality standards and background concentrations of key contaminants; pollutant effect biomarkers; confounding factors; particulate contaminants (microplastics, engineered nanomaterials); climate change; harmonization of monitoring procedures; and the use of deployed mussels (transplant caging) in pollution monitoring. Lastly, the overall state of the art of blue mussel pollution monitoring is discussed and some important issues for future research and development are highlighted.

J. Beyer, N. W. Green, S. Brooks and al., Marine Environmental Research, Available online 3 August 2017, In Press, Corrected Proof

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Microplastics pollution after the removal of the Costa Concordia wreck: First evidences from a biomonitoring case study

Microplastics (MPs) represent a matter of growing concern for the marine environment. Their ingestion has been documented in several species worldwide, but the impact of specific anthropogenic activities remains largely unexplored. In this study, MPs were characterized in different benthic fish sampled after 2.5 years of huge engineering operations for the parbuckling project on the Costa Concordia wreck at Giglio Island. Fish collected in proximity of the wreck showed a high ingestion of microplastics compared to both fish from a control area and values reported worldwide. Also the elevated percentage of nylon, polypropylene lines and the presence of polystyrene are quite unusual for marine organisms sampled in natural field conditions, thus supporting the possible relationship of ingested microplastics with maritime operations during wreck removal. On the other hand, the use of transplanted mussels revealed a lower frequency of ingested MPs, and did not discriminate differences between the wreck and the control area. Some variations were observed in terms of typology and size of particles between surface- and bottom-caged mussels highlighting the influence of a different distribution of MPs along the water column. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that MPs pollution in the area of Costa Concordia was more evident on benthonic environment than on seawater column, providing novel insights on the possibility of using appropriate sentinel organisms for monitoring specific anthropogenic sources of MPs pollution in the marine environment.

Carlo Giacomo Avio, Lara Roberta Cardelli, Stefania Gorbi and al., Environmental Pollution, Volume 227, August 2017,  Pages 207–214

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Quantification and characterization of microplastics in blue mussels (Mytilus edulis): protocol setup and preliminary data on the contamination of the French Atlantic coast

Microplastics (MPs) constitute a main environmental issue due to their threat to marine organisms and so far to humans. The lack of a fast standard protocol in MP isolation and identification from living organisms bring to challenge for the science. In this paper, an optimized protocol using potassium hydroxide 10% (KOH 10%; m/v) for digestion of mussel soft tissues (Mytilus edulis) and multi-steps of sedimentation has been developed. Efficiency higher than 99.9% of organic and mineral matter elimination was shown by application on mussels sampled on the French Atlantic coast. The identification of MPs was performed by FTIR microscopy straight on the filter and the whole analysis can be compatible with a routine goal. Fourteen MPs of four different chemical natures were found and identified in 5 pools of 3 sampled mussels. Their size ranged from 30 to 200 μm. Further investigations are now needed to evaluate the potential risk of such particles within this marine bivalve species and other filter feeders.

Nam Ngoc Phuong, Aurore Zalouk-Vergnoux, Abderrahmane Kamari,Catherine Mouneyrac, Frederic Amiard, Laurence Poirier, Fabienne Lagarde, Environ Sci Pollut Res (April 2017), online first, pages 1-10

The article

Microplastics en route: Field measurements in the Dutch river delta and Amsterdam canals, wastewater treatment plants, North Sea sediments and biota

Environmental contamination by plastic particles, also known as ‘microplastics’, brings synthetic materials that are non-degradable and biologically incompatible into contact with ecosystems. In this paper we present concentration data for this emerging contaminant in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and freshwater and marine systems, reflecting the routes via which these particles can travel and the ecosystems they potentially impact along their path. Raw sewage influents, effluents and sewage sludge from seven municipal WWTPs in the Netherlands contained mean particle concentrations of 68–910 L− 1, 51–81 L− 1 and 510–760 kg− 1 wet weight (ww), respectively (particle sizes between 10 and 5000 μm). Even after treatment, wastewater constitutes a source of microplastic pollution of surface waters, and via biosolids applications in farming and forestry, plastic retained in sewage sludge can be transferred to terrestrial environments. The WWTPs investigated here had a mean microplastics retention efficiency of 72% (s.d. 61%) in the sewage sludge. In the receiving waters of treated and untreated wastewaters, we detected high microplastic levels in riverine suspended particulate matter (1400–4900 kg− 1 dry weight (dw)) from the Rhine and Meuse rivers. Amsterdam canal water sampled at different urban locations contained microplastic concentrations (48–187 L− 1), similar to those observed in wastewater that is emitted from sewage treatment facilities in the area. At least partial settling of the particles occurs in freshwater as well, as indicated by microplastics in urban canal sediments (< 68 to 10,500 particles kg− 1 dw). Microplastics in suspension in the water column have the potential to be discharged into the sea with other riverine suspended particulates. We report microplastic concentrations from 100 up to 3600 particles kg− 1 dry sediment collected at 15 locations along the Dutch North Sea coast. The high microplastic enrichment in marine sediments compared to most literature data for seawater at the surface supports the hypothesis of a seabed sink for these materials. Marine species are heavily exposed to plastic particles. Body residues between 10 and 100 particles g− 1 dw were measured in benthic macroinvertebrate species inhabiting the Dutch North Sea coast: filter-feeding mussels and oysters (species for human consumption) as well as other consumers in the marine food chain.

H.A. Leslie, S.H. Brandsma, M.J.M. van Velzen, A.D. Vethaak, Environment International, Available Environment International, Volume 101, April 2017, Pages 133–142

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