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Implication of site quality on mitochondrial electron transport activity and its interaction with temperature in feral Mya arenaria clams from the Saguenay Fjord


Implication of site quality on mitochondrial electron transport activity and its interaction with temperature in feral Mya arenaria clams from the Saguenay Fjord



Environmental Research 103(2): 238-246



ISSN/ISBN: 0013-9351

PMID: 16806157

DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2006.05.006

The advent of global warming has given rise to questions about the impact of temperature/pollution interactions on the integrity of certain benthic organisms like bivalves. This interaction was examined in intertidal Mya arenaria clams from the Saguenay Fjord using the concepts of cellular energy allocation and temperature-dependent mitochondrial electron transport (METT) activity. Clams were collected at low tide from six sites (two clean, four polluted) for determinations of condition factor (weight/shell length), growth index (age-to-length ratio), gonadal lipids and maturation index, gonad MET at various habitat temperatures, METT, gill xanthine oxidase and gill DNA damage. Condition factor was generally lower at the four polluted sites, with growth index being severely affected at two of them. Gonadal maturation was also significantly dampened at two of the four pollution-impacted sites. Gill xanthine oxidase (purine bases salvage pathway) and DNA strand breaks were significantly increased at most of the polluted sites, confirming pollution-mediated damage in clams. Moreover, MET at 20 degrees C, METT and gonad lipids were significantly induced at the polluted sites. Clam condition factor was negatively correlated with most of the biomarkers for cellular energy allocation (gonadal lipids, MET and METT), but not with gonadal maturation. DNA damage and xanthine oxidase were positively correlated with MET at 20 degrees C and METT. This is the first report of electron transport in mitochondria being more sensitive to incremental temperature increases in clams under pollution stress. The gradual warming of clam habitats would likely worsen the impacts of pollution in feral clam populations.

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Accession: 012982360

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