Main content area

Bioindication of mercury, arsenic and uranium in the apple snail Pomacea canaliculata (Caenogastropoda, Ampullariidae): Bioconcentration and depuration in tissues and symbiotic corpuscles

Campoy-Diaz, Alejandra D., Arribére, María A., Guevara, Sergio Ribeiro, Vega, Israel A.
Chemosphere 2018 v.196 pp. 196-205
Pomacea canaliculata, adults, arsenic, bioaccumulation, environmental monitoring, excreta, indicator species, kidneys, mercury, morphometry, neutron activation analysis, snails, tissues, uranium, water quality
Pomacea canaliculata is a mollusk potentially useful as a biomonitor species of freshwater quality. This work explores the ability of snail tissues and symbiotic corpuscles to bioconcentrate and depurate mercury, arsenic, and uranium. Adult snails cultured in metal-free reconstituted water were exposed for eight weeks (bioaccumulation phase) to water with Hg (2 μgL−1), As (10 μgL−1), and U (30 μgL−1) and then returned to the reconstituted water for other additional eight weeks (depuration phase). Elemental concentrations in digestive gland, kidney, symbiotic corpuscles and particulate excreta were determined by neutron activation analysis. The glandular symbiotic occupancy was measured by morphometric analysis. After exposure, the kidney showed the highest concentration of Hg, while the digestive gland accumulated mainly As and U. The subcellular distribution in symbiotic corpuscles was ∼71%, ∼48%, and ∼11% for U, Hg, and As, respectively. Tissue depuration between weeks 8 and 16 was variable amongst elements. At week 16, the tissue depuration of U was the highest (digestive gland = 92%; kidney = 80%), while it was lower for Hg (digestive gland = 51%; kidney = 53%). At week 16, arsenic showed a differential pattern of tissue depuration (digestive gland = 23%; kidney = 88%). The symbiotic detoxification of the three elements in excreta was fast between weeks 8 and 10 and it was slower after on. At the end of the depuration, each element distributed differentially in digestive gland and symbiotic corpuscles. Our findings show that symbiotic corpuscles, digestive gland and kidney P. canaliculata are sensitive places for biomonitoring of Hg, As and U.