Navigation Links
The Prestige oil spill caused changes in the cell structure of mussels
Date:3/25/2009

This release is available in Spanish.

The oil spill from the Prestige petroleum oil tanker in 2002 caused serious damage to the ecosystems in the Bay of Biscay. A PhD thesis at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) has studied the consequences of this spill for the mussels inhabiting this northern coast of the Iberian peninsula.

The author of the PhD thesis is the biologist Ms Larraitz Garmendia Altuna, who entitled her work, Monitoring of the biological effects of the Prestige oil spill, based on the biomarker approach: mussel watch from Galicia to the Basque coast. The director of the thesis was Mr Ionan Marigmez Allende from the Department of Zoology and Animal Cell Biology at the UPV/EHU's Faculty of Science and Technology. In order to undertake the thesis Ms Garmendia visited the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, belonging to the Institute of Marine and Coastal Science of Rutgers State University (Port Norris, New Jersey, USA).

To analyse the biological effects of the oil spill from the Prestige tanker, the researcher studied the Mytilus galloprovincialis mussel. The samples for the research were taken at 22 points between the Galician coast (Finisterre) and Gulf of Biscay between 2003 and 2006. In order to observe the impact suffered by the mussels a number of biomarkers were controlled.

Changes at cell level

The study showed there had been changes at cell level in the mussels. Up to 2004 it could be seen that the lysosomes organs responsible for cellular digestion suffered drastic changes in size and the cell membrane had destabilised. From 2004 on the situation showed signs of recovery and the size of the lysosomes had returned to their reference values, although in 2006, the stability of the cell membrane in some samples were still not high.

At a tissue level, Ms Garmendia studied the cell types of the tissues from the digestive gland of the mussel. Between 2004 and 2005, serious changes were observed in these tissue in the samples from all the locations studied atrophy of certain parts of the digestive gland, for example

Measuring health

The health of the mussels was studied through the control of certain biomarkers. Thus, as a result of the Prestige oil spill, the study showed that the state of health of the mussels had been seriously affected. Signs of recovery were observed in 2004 in the samples from Galicia and in 2005 in those from the Gulf of Bizkaia.

Moreover, changes in the immune response were observed in mussels during the first years of the study and, although this has improved somewhat, the 2006 samples indicate that it still has not recovered the situation prior to the oil spill.

Apart from the mussels, their environment was also studied. In 2003 environmental conditions prejudicial to the health of mussels were recorded. In 2004 the first signs of recovery were noted but, on terminating the research in 2006, they still had not reached conditions of a healthy ecosystem.


'/>"/>

Contact: Press Office
lucia@elhuyar.com
Elhuyar Fundazioa
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Arctic governments and industry still unprepared for oil spills 20 years after Exxon Valdez
2. Cleaning up oil spills can kill more fish than spills themselves, say Queens biologists
3. First wind turbines on Galapagos Islands will halve diesel imports, reduce risk of future oil spills
4. Prolonged respiratory problems for oil spill clean-up volunteers
5. CO2 drop and global cooling caused Antarctic glacier to form
6. K-State professors USDA research shows mad cow disease also caused by genetic mutation
7. Statin does not appear helpful for children with learning disabilities caused by genetic disorder
8. Drug reverses mental retardation caused by genetic disorder
9. NASA study links Earth impacts to human-caused climate change
10. Humans have caused profound changes in Caribbean coral reefs
11. Tolerance to inhalants may be caused by changes in gene expression
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
The Prestige oil spill caused changes in the cell structure of mussels
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform with ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The integration will ... to access and transact across channels. Using this ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 15, 2016  A new partnership announced today ... underwriting decisions in a fraction of the time ... and high-value life insurance policies to consumers without ... With Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and ... (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... -- IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central ... in telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi. ... patients can routinely track key health measurements, such as ... when they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians ... retail location at no cost. By leveraging this data, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Global demand for enzymes ... through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market includes ... cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and other ... and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain the ... increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in developing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Cancer ... what they believe could be a new and helpful biomarker for malignant pleural ... Click here to read it now. , Biomarkers are components in the ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. ... the faculty of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ... entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... discussions on a range of subjects including policies, debt and ... Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to the Canadian ... to the country,s inflation target, which is set by both ... "In certain areas there needs to be ... why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
Breaking Biology Technology: