John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Antioxidant and detoxification responses of oysters Crassostrea hongkongensis in a multi‐metal contaminated estuary

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The ‘colored’ oysters discovered in the Pearl River Estuary (PRE) contained high levels of metals in their tissues, especially for Cu and Zn, indicating that this largest and densely urbanized estuary in Southern China suffered from serious metal pollution. This study aimed to investigate the impacts of multi‐metal pollution in the PRE on oyster antioxidant and detoxification systems. The responses of various biochemical biomarkers in an ecologically important oyster Crassostrea hongkongensis collected from seven sites of the PRE were quantified. We demonstrated significant correlations between the accumulation of Cu and Zn and the oxidative stress (lipid peroxidation) and oxidative stress defenses (catalase, glutathione peroxidase) in the oyster gills. Significant correlations between the accumulation of Cd and Cu and the detoxification (glutathione and glutathione transferase) in the gills were also documented. Interestingly, metallothionein concentration was positively correlated with Cd, but negatively correlated with Cu, Ni and Zn concentrations in the gills. These measurements indicated that Cu in the PRE induced various biochemical responses in the oysters and influenced the susceptibility of oysters to environmental stress. The present study provided the first evidence of antioxidant and detoxification responses in native ‘colored’ oysters from a field environment seriously contaminated by metals. Coupling biomarkers with tissue metal concentration measurements was a promising approach to identify the metals causing biological impacts in a multi‐metal contaminated estuary. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

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