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Free Content Dna damage in the Caribbean mussel Brachiodontes exustus: a comet assay evaluation

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The mussel Brachiodontes exustus (Linné) (Mollusca: Mytilidae) lives in the intertidal zone of the Caribbean and is often observed attached to rocks, mangrove roots, and pilings. Although much smaller, this species can be considered an ecological equivalent of Mytilus spp., often used in bioaccumulation studies, but not found in the Caribbean. The objective of this study was to evaluate the comet alkaline assay for measuring levels of DNA single strand breaks in mantle cells of B. exustus. A preliminary experiment was performed exposing mantle cells for 15 min to 0, 10, 25, 50, and 100 μM hydrogen peroxide concentrations in order to test the sensitivity of the comet assay in isolated single cells. As expected, DNA damage increased along with hydrogen peroxide concentration. Another experiment was performed exposing organisms in aquaria to 0, 20, 100, and 200 ppb copper concentrations (as copper chloride) for 24 and 96 hrs. DNA damage levels increased with copper chloride concentrations at both 24 and 96 hrs. Ambient levels of DNA damage were assessed in organisms taken from three different sites in San Juan Bay, one site on the western side of Isla de Cabras, San Juan, and one at Seven Seas, Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Significant differences in levels of DNA damage were detected among study sites. Results of this study indicate that the comet assay can be used effectively in B. exustus mantle cells to assess DNA damage both in laboratory conditions and in the field.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-07-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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