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Abstract Title:

Adherence of microplastics to soft tissue of mussels: A novel way to uptake microplastics beyond ingestion.

Abstract Source:

Sci Total Environ. 2018 Jan 1 ;610-611:635-640. Epub 2017 Aug 17. PMID: 28822931

Abstract Author(s):

Prabhu Kolandhasamy, Lei Su, Jiana Li, Xiaoyun Qu, Khalida Jabeen, Huahong Shi

Article Affiliation:

Prabhu Kolandhasamy

Abstract:

Microplastic pollution is recognized as an emerging threat to aquatic ecosystems. One of the main environmental risks associated with microplastics is their bioavailability to marine organisms. Up to date, ingestion has been widely accepted as the sole way for the animals to uptake microplastics. Nevertheless, microplastics have also been found in some organs which are not involved in the process of ingestion. We hypothesize that the animal might uptake microplastics through adherence in addition to ingestion. To test this hypothesis, we collected mussels from the fishery farms, conducted exposure/clearance experiments and analyzed the accumulation of microplastics in specific organ of mussels. Our studies clearly showed the uptake of microplastic in multiple organs of mussels. In the field investigations, we found that the abundance of microplastic by weight but not by individual showed significant difference among organs, and the intestine contained the highest level of microplastics (9.2items/g). In the uptake and clearance experiment, the accumulation and retention of microfibers could also be observed in all tested organs of mussels including foot and mantle. Our results strongly suggest that adherence rather than ingestion led to the accumulation of microplastics in those organs which are not involved in ingestion process. To our best knowledge, it is the first time to propose that adherence is a novel way for animals to uptake microplastics beyond ingestion. This new finding makes us rethink about the bioavailability, accumulation and toxicity of microplastics to aquatic animals.

Study Type : Environmental
Additional Links
Additional Keywords : Microplastic

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