Comparative tissue responses of marine mollusks on seasonal changes in the Northern Adriatic Sea

Natalija Topić Popović*, Martina Krbavčić, Josip Barišić, Blanka Beer Ljubić, Ivančica Strunjak-Perović, Sanja Babić, Vanesa Lorencin, Daniel Matulić, Tea Tomljanović, Rozelindra Čož-Rakovac

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


In the shallow Northern Adriatic, marine mollusks are affected by bottom trawling and seafood disturbance. Seasonal oscillations of oceanographic factors additionally influence their physiology, stress responses and survival. Tissue responses to seasonal variations in green ormer (Haliotis tuberculata L.) and Mediterranean scallop (Pecten jacobaeus L.) in the Northern Adriatic have not been reported. Hence, their biochemical and antioxidant defense properties over seasons were studied and the microanatomical structure of their tissue was correlated with function. Histological analysis of gonads revealed two peaks of gonadal maturation and spawning during the spring/summer period and winter season for scallops, and one peak during the fall for ormers. The gonadal maturation of both species was correlated with their seasonal variations of metabolic demands and antioxidant capacity. The lipid vacuoles of tubuloacinar terminations in the digestive gland differed between the two species; in scallop they are several-fold larger in size and number. Low temperatures in winter contributed to a decline in enzymatic antioxidant defense in scallop tissues, having lower superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, and higher concentrations of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and total antioxidant status (TAS). In ormers, winter induced lower TAS, TBARS, SOD and GPx concentrations. The significant difference of winter TAS and TBARS levels between ormers and scallops was correlated with variations in their reproductive cycles, as well as in antioxidant defense systems. The most important factor for stress-related parameters for both species in this work was found to be the season-induced temperature change.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2874
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2021


  • Adriatic Sea
  • Istria
  • Haliotis tuberculata
  • Pecten jacobaeus
  • tissue biochemistry
  • histology


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