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Comparative study on bioremediation of heavy metals by solitary ascidian, Phallusia nigra, between Thoothukudi and Vizhinjam ports of India

Abdul Jaffar ali, H., Tamilselvi, M., Akram, A. Soban, Kaleem Arshan, M.L., Sivakumar, V.
Ecotoxicology and environmental safety 2015 v.121 pp. 93-99
Ascidiacea, analysis of variance, bioaccumulation factor, bioremediation, biosorption, cadmium, copper, heavy metals, kidneys, lead, mercury, monitoring, vanadium, India
Ascidians belonging to the sub-phylum Uro-chordata are used as potential model organisms in various parts of the world for biosorption of metals. The sedentary nature, filter feeding habits, presence of vanadocytes and the absence of kidneys cause them to accumulate metals. The present study was aimed to compare biosorption of metals such as cadmium, copper, lead, mercury and vanadium in test and mantle body of solitary ascidian Phallusia nigra between two ecologically significant stations such as Thoothukudi (Station 1) and Vizhinjam (Station 2) ports of India. Monthly samplings of water and P. nigra were done for a period of one year from September 2010 to August 2011 and subjected to analysis of metal accumulation. The average metal concentrations except mercury in the Thoothukudi water were found to be higher of comparable magnitudes than the Vizhinjam water. One-way ANOVA showed significant differences between the stations. A comparison of average metal concentrations in the test and mantle body of P. nigra between two stations showed that the enrichment of V, Cd, Pb, Cu and Hg in the Thoothukudi samples may be due to high bioaccumulation factors of these elements as compared to other species of ascidians. The bioaccumulation factors were in the order of V>Pb>Cd>Cu> Hg for the test and mantle body in stations 1 and 2. Application of one-way ANOVA for the concentration of these metals between test and mantle body showed significant differences in both stations. Similarly, ANOVA for biosorption of these trace metals by P. nigra showed significant difference between stations. Metal concentrations recorded in this ascidian could effectively be used as good reference material for monitoring metal contamination in Indian sea waters.