A comparison of growth biomarkers for assessing sublethal effects of cadmium on a marine gastropod, Nassarius festivus

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  • K. T. Wo
  • Paul K. S. Lam
  • Rudolf S. S. Wu


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-173
Journal / PublicationMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1-12
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999


The effect of cadmium on the growth of an intertidal marine gastropod, Nassarius festivus, was investigated using a number of biomarkers namely conventional measurements in terms of increase in shell length or body weight, scope for growth (SfG) and RNA/DNA ratio. After eight days of cadmium exposure, the no observable effect concentration (NOEC) and lowest observable effect concentration (LOEC) for the rate of increase in wet weight were 1.00 and 1.38 mg/l, respectively, while those for shell length did not show any significant difference from the control until day 16. After 16 days of cadmium exposure, the LOEC for both shell length and wet weight measurements was 0.22 mg/l. The 8-day SfG test was sensitive to cadmium stress, showing a significant decrease at 0.16 mg/l cadmium when compared to the control. The NOEC and LOEC of RNA/DNA ratio determination were 0.52 and 0.93 mg/l, respectively. An assessment based on sensitivity and technical complexity suggests that Scope for Growth is the most sensitive growth biomarker, followed by the RNA/DNA ratio, and then the conventional growth measurement based on shell size and body weight. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Nassarius festivus, RNA/DNA ratio, Scope for growth, Shell length, Wet weight

Citation Format(s)