The Ebro Delta (NE Spain), formed by two bays, northern and southern hemidelta, is an area mainly devoted to rice farming. As a result shellfish species inhabiting or cultured in nearby bays may become increasingly threatened by exposure to pollutants associated to agriculture. The latest product applied in the rice fields is a plant based molluscicide called saponin, used to control populations of the giant apple snail (GAS). Saponins are known to also affect other organisms, hence research of its toxicity towards non target species is needed. In this study, mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) were exposed to three concentrations of suspended solid pellets containing saponin extracts from the plant species Camellia sinensis. Effects across a large set of biochemical markers were investigated in the digestive gland and gill tissue of exposed mussels to saponin for 1 and 7days. In addition, crude saponin was extracted from solid pellets to confirm its correct concentration. Results obtained from this study, showed that the concentration of crude saponin in dry pellets was of 5.5%. Lethal levels of saponin were 3.2 fold higher than the maximal predicted field concentration, and activated respiratory metabolism and expression of transmembrane protein transporters. Mussels, exposed to sub lethal concentrations of saponin showed increase of antioxidant defenses.
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 2018
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