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Tissue-specific incorporation and genotoxicity of different forms of tritium in the marine mussel, Mytilus edulis
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Systems Ecology. (Marine Ecotoxicology)
2011 (English)In: Environmental Pollution, ISSN 0269-7491, E-ISSN 1873-6424, Vol. 159, no 1, 274-280 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Marine mussels (Mytilus edulis) were exposed to seawater spiked with tritiated water (HTO) at a dose rate of 122 and 79 mu Gy h(-1) for 7 and 14 days, respectively, and tritiated glycine (T-Gly) at a dose rate of 4.9 mu Gy h(-1) over 7 days. This was followed by deputation in clean seawater for 21 days. Tissues (foot, gills, digestive gland, mantle, adductor muscle and byssus) and DNA extracts from tissues were analysed for their tritium activity concentrations. All tissues demonstrated bio-accumulation of tritium from HTO and T-Gly. Tritium from T-Gly showed increased incorporation into DNA compared to HTO. About 90% of the initial activity from HTO was depurated within one day, whereas T-Gly was depurated relatively slowly, indicating that tritium may be bound with different affinities in tissues. Both forms of tritium caused a significant induction of micronuclei in the haemocytes of mussels. Our findings identify significant differential impacts on Mytilus edulis of the two chemical forms of tritium and emphasise the need for a separate classification and control of releases of tritiated compounds, to adequately protect the marine ecosystem.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 159, no 1, 274-280 p.
Keyword [en]
Bio-accumulation, Tritiated glycine, Tritiated water, DNA, Genotoxicity
National Category
Biological Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-69713DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.08.033ISI: 000285129600036OAI: diva2:478001

authorCount :4

Available from: 2012-01-15 Created: 2012-01-15 Last updated: 2012-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Exploring phenomena that affect the fate and impact of radioactive materials in the blue mussel
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring phenomena that affect the fate and impact of radioactive materials in the blue mussel
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Current protection of the marine environment from radiation is based largely on measuring, estimating and modelling accumulation and impact(s) of radionuclides in a few marine species. Using a relevant marine organism, this thesis focusses on investigating some poorly described phenomena that could cause deviations from predicted measurements.

Paper I investigated the biological transformation of tritium (radioactive hydrogen) into an organic compound. The resulting organically bound tritium (OBT) showed increased accumulation in mussels, unique incorporation into a key biological molecule (DNA), extended persistence in tissues, and greater toxicity than the inorganic form. Paper II demonstrated significant disparity in OBT accumulation between functionally similar microalgae species and that OBT in algae is readily transferred to a consumer.

Highly radioactive particles are a complex issue in radioecology due to their concentrated dose geometry, potentially inducing very different impacts in organisms, compared to external irradiation. Paper III developed a method to introduce radioactive particles that would facilitate their recovery, improve dose-calculation, and aid the measurement of toxicological endpoints. It also showed that such particles can be incorporated into mussel tissues, causing significant effects.

In Paper IV, hypoxia – another major ecological hazard in the marine environment – was expected to reduce radiosensitivity. The minimal observable effect from radiation prevented identification of such an interaction, and indicates drawbacks in the (otherwise sensitive) endpoints used. It appears that stressors like hypoxia may be more of a health hazard to marine organisms than environmental levels of ionising radiation.

By understanding such causes of variation in accumulation and impact, it is possible to improve risk assessment, providing more justification for regulations chosen and minimising conservatism in setting environmental standards.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences, Stockholm University, 2013. 93 p.
Radioecology, ionising radiation, environmental protection, Mytilus edulis, bioaccumulation, dose-response, ecotoxicology, tritium, particle, hypoxia
National Category
Biological Systematics
Research subject
Marine Ecotoxicology
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-83404 (URN)978-91-7447-616-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-01-18, DeGeersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

At the time of doctoral defense, the following papers were not published and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2012-12-27 Created: 2012-12-10 Last updated: 2013-01-02Bibliographically approved

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