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ECB-ART-48589
Mar Environ Res 2020 Feb 01;154:104865. doi: 10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.104865.
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Morphological and molecular responses of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus to highly contaminated marine sediments: The case study of Bagnoli-Coroglio brownfield (Mediterranean Sea).

Ruocco N , Bertocci I , Munari M , Musco L , Caramiello D , Danovaro R , Zupo V , Costantini M .


Abstract
Marine sediments store complex mixtures of compounds, including heavy metals, organotins and a large array of other contaminants. Sediment quality monitoring, characterization and management are priorities, due to potential impacts of the above compounds on coastal waters and their biota, especially in cases of pollutants released during dredging activities. Harbours and marinas, as well as estuaries and bays, where limited exchanges of water occurr, the accumulation of toxic compounds poses major concerns for human and environmental health. Here we report the effects of highly contaminated sediments from the site of national interest Bagnoli-Coroglio (Tyrrhenian Sea, Western Mediterranean) on the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus, considered a good model for ecotoxicological studies. Adult sea urchins were reared one month in aquaria in the presence of contaminated sediment that was experimentally subject to different patterns of re-suspension events (mimicking the effect of natural storms occurring in the field), crossed with O2 enrichment versus natural gas exchanges in the water. The development of embryos deriving from adult urchins exposed to such experimental conditions was followed until the pluteus stage, checking the power of contaminated sediment to induce morphological malformations and its eventual buffering by high oxygenation. Real-Time qPCR analysis revealed that the expression of several genes (among the fifty analyzed, involved in different functional processes) was targeted by contaminated sediments more than those exposed in oxygen-enriched condition. Our findings have biological and ecological relevance in terms of assessing the actual impact on local organisms of chronic environmental contamination by heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons affecting the Bagnoli-Coroglio area, and of exploring enhanced sediment and water oxygenation as a promising tool to mitigate the effects of contamination in future environmental restoration actions.

PubMed ID: 32056706
Article link: Mar Environ Res


Genes referenced: impact LOC100887844 LOC115925415