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Assessment of pollution in the Bizerte lagoon (Tunisia) by the combined use of chemical and biochemical markers in mussels, Mytilus galloprovincialis

June 26, 2014

In order to assess the environmental quality of the Bizerte lagoon (Tunisia), biomarker and contaminant levels were measured in Mediterranean mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) from five selected sites. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) were quantified in whole body and enzyme activities such as acetylcholinesterase (AChE), catalase (CAT) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) in gills. Despite the relatively low levels of organic contaminants, the selected biomarkers responded differently according to the pollution level at the different sites. GST and AChE activities were correlated with the amount of DDTs in mussel tissues. These two enzymatic activities were also correlated to temperature and pH. No significant difference was observed for CAT activity. Principal component analysis showed a clear separation of sampling sites in three different assemblages which is consistent with POP body burden in mussels. Our results confirmed the usefulness of combining biomarker and chemical analyses in mussels to assess chemical pollution in the Bizerte lagoon.

Barhoumi B, Le Menach K, Clérandeau C, Ben Ameur W, Budzinski H, Ridha Driss M, Cachot J, 2014: Assessment of pollution in the Bizerte lagoon (Tunisia) by the combined use of chemical and biochemical markers in mussels, Mytilus galloprovincialis, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 84(1-2), 379-390, doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2014.05.002. Article (subscription required).

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