Detection of malformations in sea urchin plutei exposed to mercuric chloride using different fluorescent techniques

Isabella Buttino, Jiang-Shiou Hwang, Giovanna Romano, Chi-Kuang Sun, Tzu-Ming Liu, David Pellegrini, Andrea Gaion, Davide Sartori
  • Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, January 2016, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2015.07.027

Malformations in sea urchin plutei exposed to mercuric chloride

What is it about?

Toxicity of HgCl2 has been verified on two sea urchin species. Two sea urchin species activate different mechanisms in response to Hg exposure. Subtropical sea urchin is the most sensitive. The subtropical species showed an increase in apoptotic-like signals.

Why is it important?

Signals were detected differently in the two species: TP fluorescence, commonly associated with apoptotic cells, did not increase with increasing HgCl2 concentrations in P. lividus and in fact, the TUNEL did not reveal induction of apoptosis. PI fluorescence increased in P. lividus in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting a loss of cell permeability. In E. mathaei plutei TP fluorescence increased at increasing HgCl2 concentrations. THG microscopy revealed skeletal rods in both species


Dr Andrea Gaion
South Devon College

Different fluorescent techniques, used in this study, are proposed as early-warning systems to visualize malformations and physiological responses in sea urchin plutei.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Andrea Gaion