Assessment of environmental stress by the micronucleus and comet assays on Limnoperna fortunei exposed to Guaíba hydrographic region samples (Brazil) under laboratory conditions.Mutat Res. 2007 Apr 02; 628(2):76-86.MR
The Guaíba Basin is a source of drinking water for Porto Alegre (RS, Brazil). The water from this basin receives industrial, urban, and rural waste from many sources. The mussel species Limnoperna fortunei was chosen based on population data, distribution, and sensitivity. Previous tests with comet assay and micronuclei frequency in this freshwater mussel have shown to be successful in biomonitoring studies. The aim of this study was to evaluate the genotoxic contamination of the Guaíba Lake Hydrographic Region, through the determination of damage by the micronuclei and comet assays in L. fortunei (golden mussel). Nine sampling sites were evaluated in three different seasons: five sites in the mouths of the main rivers that flow into Guaíba lake; one site at the mouth of a stream; one major site of sewage discharge; two sites at Guaíba lake, near a sewage discharge; and the control site in a preservation area. DNA damage was detected by the single cell gel assay, as well as the frequency of micronuclei in hemocytes of mussels exposed under laboratory conditions for 7 days to water and sediment samples. Significant results were found in different seasons in almost all sampling sites (P<0.05, ANOVA Dunnet's test). Most of the positive results were found in samples affected mainly by urban effluents. It was possible to observe that there was a weak relation between mutagenic and genotoxic responses and mussels inorganic elements contents. Seasonal variation was observed at different sampling sites, but always indicating a huge contamination near urban sewage discharge. These results are consistent with previous studies, allowing us to infer that urban contamination is the biggest problem in this region. It is also possible to infer that L. fortunei is a good sentinel organism for the Guaíba Basin.