How does the brown mussel Perna perna respond to environmental pollution? A review on pollution biomarkers

Natascha Krepsky , Fernanda Silva dos Santos , Raquel A.F. Neves , Mirian Araújo Carlos Crapez , Valéria Laneuville Teixeira


Received November 05, 2020,Revised , Accepted April 09, 2021, Available online May 15, 2021

Volume 34,2022,Pages 412-428

The brown mussel Perna perna (Linnaeus, 1758) is a valuable resource for aquaculture in tropical and subtropical coastal regions. It presents desirable characteristics for biomonitoring, including being sessile, widely distributed and abundant, and is a filter-feeder able to accumulate several classes of pollutants (e.g., metals, hydrocarbons, among others). Mussels’ biological responses to pollution exposure can be measured as biomarkers, which include alterations ranging from molecular to physiological levels, to estimate the degree of environmental contamination and its effects on biota. This full review compiles two decades (2000–2020) of literature concerning biological effects on P. perna mussel caused by environmental pollutants (i.e., metals, hydrocarbons, and emerging pollutants), considering environmental and farm-based biomonitoring. Biochemical markers related to mussels’ oxidative status were efficient for the biomonitoring of metals (i.e., antioxidant enzymes associated with oxidative damage in biomolecules). Genotoxicity and cytotoxicity indicators (i.e., comet, micronucleus, and neutral red assays) provided a depiction of hydrocarbon contamination. The neutral red assay gave a time-concentration cytotoxic response to a wide range of pollutants, including emerging pollutants (e.g., pharmaceuticals and biocides) and hydrocarbons. Perna perna hemocyte parameters provided a useful approach for biocide biomonitoring. This paper summarizes useful biomarkers from molecular to physiological levels in this mussel species used to identify and quantify the degree of coastal pollution. An integrated biomarker analysis may provide a way to overcome possible biomarker variations and assess multi-polluted sites. Nevertheless, it is necessary to investigate biomarker variations according to natural factors (e.g., season and gonad maturation stage) to standardize them for trustworthy biomonitoring.

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