Molecular biomarkers are used world wide for quick assessment of the immediate effect of environmental pollution on marine ecosystems. Recently, we evaluated oxidative stress responses of marine rock oyster, Saccostrea cucullata impacted due to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) accumulated in their tissues at a few sampling sites along the coast of Goa around the region of the Arabian sea coast, India (Sarkar et al., 2017). Using a combination of partial alkaline unwinding and comet assays, we now report a comprehensive study on the impairment of DNA integrity (DI) in S. cucullata due to exposure to environmentally available PAHs and also heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Cu, Fe and Mn) along the Arabian Sea coast, Goa, India exclusively around the entire coast of Goa. First, we determined significant correlation between DI in S. cucullata and the extent of exposure to and bioaccumulation of different PAH compounds including 2–3 aromatic ring PAHs (R2, 0.95), 4–6 aromatic ring PAHs (R2, 0.85), oxygenated-PAHs (oxy-PAHs, R2, 0.84) and total PAHs (t-PAHs, R2, 0.98). Second, we observed dose-dependent decrease in DI in S. cucullata with increasing concentrations of different PAH components in oyster tissues. We substantiated our field observations with appropriate laboratory controls using benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). Third, we performed stepwise multiple regression analyses of different water quality parameters including pH, salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), nitrite (NO2), nitrate (NO3), phosphate (PO4), turbidity and also t-PAH-biota, t-PAH-water with DI as the dependent variable. Among all these parameters, only four parameters such as t-PAH-biota in combination with DO, BOD and NO2 showed significant correlation (R¯2 = 0.95) with loss in DI in S. cucullata. Based on these results, we created a map indicating the percentage of DNA damage in S. cucullata exposed to PAHs and heavy metals at each sampling location along the west coast of India around Goa, India.
Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety – Elsevier
Published: Apr 30, 2018
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