Uptake of Dissolved Organic Carbon-Complexed 65Cu by the Green Mussel Perna viridis

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2383-2390
Journal / PublicationEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number4
Online published12 Jan 2012
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


Stable Cu isotope (65Cu) was complexed with various representative dissolved organic carbon (DOC) types, including coastal seawater DOC, fulvic acid (FA), cyanobacteria spirulina (SP) DOC, histidine (His), cysteine (Cys), and lipophilic diethyl dithiocarbamate (DDC) at different concentrations. The uptake of these dissolved Cu species by the coastal green mussel Perna viridis was quantified for the first time. Copper complexed with different DOC types were taken up in some measure by mussels, depending on the DOC types. However, complexation generally reduced Cu uptake as compared to that of inorganic Cu species, and DOC type-specific negative relationships were found between DOC levels and Cu uptake. Strong Cu binding sites (including His and organic sulfur functional groups) within DOC appeared to control the inhibitory effects of DOC on Cu uptake, possibly due to the competitive binding of Cu between the dissolved phase and biological membranes. Therefore, differences in strong Cu binding site levels may explain the differences in bioavailability of Cu complexed with different types of DOC. At the same time, the variations in Cu-DOC uptake may also be partly attributed to the absorption of Cu-DOC complexes, especially for the small Cu-DOC complexes (e.g., Cu-Cys, Cu-His, or Cu-DDC). Our study highlights the importance of considering the specificity of Cu-DOC complexes when assessing biological exposure to dissolved Cu in natural waters, especially during events, such as phytoplankton bloom periods, that could modify DOC composition and concentrations. © 2012 American Chemical Society.