Spatial variation and subcellular binding of metals in oysters from a large estuary in China

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)274-280
Journal / PublicationMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number1-2
Online published26 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


Pearl River Estuary (PRE) is the largest estuary in Southern China and there has been an increasing concern of metal pollution due to regional industrialization. In this study, we investigated the spatial variation of metal pollution (Ag, As, Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn) as well as their subcellular handling in the oyster Crassostrea hongkongensis. Hot spots of metal contamination in the oysters were found in different sites, suggesting that there were different sources of metals in the estuary associated with industrial activity. Metals differed in their subcellular bindings in the oysters from different locations. Metal distribution in the biologically detoxified fraction decreased for Cu but increased for Zn with increasing contamination in the oysters. For Zn, there was a significant difference in its two detoxification pools (metal-rich granules and metallothionein-like proteins) in response to Zn contamination. The high Cd concentrations in oysters may carry a high Cd hazard to the consumers. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Cd hazard, Crassostrea hongkongensis, Detoxification, Metals, Pearl River Estuary