Different responses of abalone Haliotis discus hannai to waterborne and dietary-borne copper and zinc exposure

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)10-17
Journal / PublicationEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Online published9 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


To investigate the potential influence of the contamination of copper (Cu) or zinc (Zn), the abalone Haliotis discus hannai was exposed to waterborne or macroalgae-borne Cu or Zn over a period of 8 weeks. Both Cu and Zn were effectively accumulated by the abalones from water or macroalgae, but their concentration factors and trophic transfer factors were low due to the regulation of Cu and Zn accumulation. Following waterborne or dietary exposure, the abalones exhibited different accumulation patterns of Cu and Zn. The tissue Zn burden decreased quickly after the initial accumulation, and the incoming Zn was mainly deposited in the viscera. In contrast, the tissue Cu burden increased rapidly and gradually reached a steady state. The abalone muscle exhibited a comparable storage capacity of Cu as the viscera and the accumulated Cu in muscle was mainly derived from the dissolved phase instead of trophic transfer. The feeding and growth of the abalone were not influenced in all the exposure regimes. Moreover, the significant induction of metallothionein indicated that the bioaccumulated metals were actively detoxified. In the metal-exposed abalones, more Cu was distributed into the biologically detoxified fractions (metallothionein-like protein and/or metal-rich granule), whereas no significant subcellular redistribution of Zn was observed. Our study suggested that the abalone may have high endurance to the contamination of Cu or Zn. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Research Area(s)

  • Accumulation pattern, Copper, Exposure pathway, Haliotis discus hannai, Zinc