Influences of ammonia-nitrogen and dissolved oxygen on lysosomal integrity in green-lipped mussel Perna viridis: Laboratory evaluation and field validation in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong

Kar Hei Fang, R. S S Wu, A. K Y Chan, C. K M Yip, P. K S Shin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Lysosomal integrity in mussels has been applied as a biomarker to detect the pollution of trace organics and metals in the natural environments. However, few studies have examined the effects of water quality on the response of lysosomal integrity, in particular total ammonia-nitrogen (TAN) and dissolved oxygen (DO). This study demonstrated that high level of TAN (2.0 mg/l) and low DO (2.5 mg O2/l) could significantly reduce the lysosomal integrity in green-lipped mussel Perna viridis, respectively by 33% and 38%, whereas the mussel lysosomal integrity decreased by 70% in the combined treatment of TAN and low DO under laboratory conditions after one week. The mussel lysosomal integrity of all treatment groups could return to the control level after a three week recovery period. In the field validation in Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong during an one-year study period, lysosomal integrity in P. viridis identified the cleanest site east to the harbour, where the lowest TAN and highest DO concentrations were found. While lysosomal integrity in mussels seemed not affected by seasonal changes, approximately 40% of the variation of this biomarker could be attributable to the changes in TAN and DO in seawater. In conclusion, the response of the mussel lysosomal integrity can be confounded by both TAN and DO prevailing in the natural environments and thus caution must be exercised in relating the observed changes in lysosomal integrity to any specific pollutant in coastal water quality monitoring studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2052-2058
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Ammonia-nitrogen
  • Biomarkers
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Green-lipped mussels
  • Lysosomal integrity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography
  • Pollution

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