The effect of shore location on biomarker expression in wild Mytilus spp. and its comparison with long line cultivated mussels

Wiebke Schmidt, Tracy O'Shea, Brian Quinn

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Biomarkers are a common tool in the assessment of potential effects of contaminants in aquatic organisms. In order to identify the effects of anthropogenic pollution it is essential to identify background levels and to know the range of natural variability in the biomarker response. In this study, we examined various biomarkers of stress (glutathione S-transferase and metallothionein), damage (lipid peroxidation (LPO) and DNA damage (DNA)) and reproduction (vitellin-like proteins) in marine mussels (Mytilus app.) from four locations along a vertical transect from high to low shore and compared them with cultivated long line mussels. High shore and cultivated mussels showed significantly higher LPO and DNA damage expression than the low shore mussels indicating a level of oxidative stress resulting from mussel location. Significant effects in physiological endpoints were also found. This study highlights the need to consider the diversity of natural environmental stress factors when using biomarkers in environmental assessment
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
JournalMarine Environmental Research
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Mussel
  • Intertidal
  • Mytilus edulis
  • Biomarkers
  • Shore location
  • Pollution
  • Ecotoxicology

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