Ingestion of nano/micro plastic particles by the mussel Mytilus coruscus is size dependent

Shixiu Wang, Menghong Hu, Jiahui Zheng, Wei Huang, Yueyong Shang, James Kar Hei Fang, Huahong Shi, Youji Wang (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Plastic particles are thought to accumulate in aquatic organisms and cause potential physiological effects. The uneven sizes of plastic particles may affect the ingestion by marine filter feeding bivalves and may lead to differential further physiological effects. To tackle this scientific question, we investigated the size dependent ingestion and dynamic accumulation of nano/micro plastic particles with different diameters (0.07, 0.5, 5, 10 and 100 μm) in the thick shell mussel Mytilus coruscus. The accumulation of particles in gill, digestive tract and mantle of mussels was measured after 3, 15, 87 h exposure and following 87 h depuration. The results showed that particle ingestion was negatively size dependant and positively related to time in digestive tract. In mantle, particles accumulated over the depuration time with a delay, indicating the translocation of particles. Moreover, our results showed that gill was not a target tissue for steady particle accumulation but the digestive tract was. This study showed size dependent and dynamic ingestion of nano/micro particles in mussels which are one of the main marine organisms for accumulating microplastics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127957
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2020


  • Dynamic accumulation
  • Microplastics
  • Mussel
  • Nanoplastics
  • Size dependent ingestion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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