Free amino acids as a biochemical indicator of stress in the estuarine bivalve Macoma balthica

H. Hummel, C. Amiard-Triquet, G. Bachelet, M. Desprez, J. Marchand, B. Sylvand, J.C. Amiard, H. Rybarczyk, R.H. Bogaards, J.J. Sinke, L. De Wolf

    Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review


    The use of free amino acids (FAA) as a stress indicator was assessed during a copper exposure experiment for specimens of the estuarine bivalve M. balthica from a geographical gradient extending from the Netherlands to its most southern limit of distribution in the Gironde, France. Changes in FAA were significant. A higher alanine content at the start of the experiment coincided with a lower mortality-rate during copper exposure. During copper exposure the tissue concentrations of alanine increased. It is concluded that especially the concentrations of alanine, and to a lesser degree the taurine/glycine (T/G) ratio, can be used as stress-indicators for M. balthica. Animals near the southern limit of their distribution showed the strongest deviations from average values. The age of the animals (2-7 years) had no influence on results. [KEYWORDS: free amino acids; Macoma balthica; stress; copper;bio-indicator; geographic dine Mytilus-edulis-l; pollution; proteins; cadmium]
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)233-241
    JournalScience of the Total Environment
    Issue number2-3
    Publication statusPublished - 1996


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