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Shell alterations in gastropod mollusks as putative biomarker for multi-impacted coasted areas


Due to ecological and economic importance, mollusks are widely used as models in studies of environmental contamination and toxicology. These animals present wide geographic distribution, abundance, are easily sampled in the environment, have sedentary behavior and a high capacity to bioaccumulate contaminants. Studies using gastropods and bivalves have shown morphological alterations in shells induced by exposure to hazardous chemical substances. In this context, this study will use the patelliform gastropods Lottia subrugosa (Brazil) and Nacella magellanica (Argentina) as proposed models to assess the occurrence of abnormalities in shells and its relationship with biomarkers of effect along contamination gradients well established in Brazil and Argentina coastal areas. Preliminary studies performed by our research groups have detected statistically significant variations in size, weight, density and shape of limpet shells collected along of known contamination gradients. Thus, there is strong evidence that the selected species has potential for use as bioindicators of environmental quality in multi-impacted areas. Therefore, this approach will extend latitudinally the geographical scale of the study (Southeast Brazil and Patagonia Argentina) of shells anomalies assisting in the eventual validation of this biomarker in global scale. This initiative will enable the use of this tool as an alternative to complex, time consuming and expensive tests used to assess the presence and effects of contaminants in marine environments. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
YOKOTA HARAYASHIKI, CYNTIA AYUMI; MARTINS, CAMILA PRATALLI; MARQUEZ, FEDERICO; BIGATTI, GREGORIO; CASTRO, ITALO BRAGA. Historical shell form variation in Lottia subrugosa from southeast Brazilian coast: Possible responses to anthropogenic pressures. Marine Pollution Bulletin, v. 155, . (15/25063-0, 16/50409-0, 18/08015-0)
YOKOTA HARAYASHIKI, CYNTIA AYUMI; MARQUEZ, FEDERICO; CARIOU, ELSA; CASTRO, ITALO BRAGA. Mollusk shell alterations resulting from coastal contamination and other environmental factors. Environmental Pollution, v. 265, n. B, . (15/25063-0, 16/50409-0, 18/08015-0)

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