Toxicity of heavy metals using sperm cell and embryo toxicity bioassays with Paracentrotus lividus (echinodermata: Echinoidea): Comparisons with exposure concentrations in the Lagoon of Venice, Italy

  • Novelli A
  • Losso C
  • Ghetti P
 et al. 
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Sperm cell and embryo toxicity tests using the Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus Lmk were performed to assess the toxicity of As3{plus}, Cd2{plus}, Cr3{plus}, Ni2{plus}, Pb2{plus}, Cu2{plus}, Zn2{plus}, and Hg2{plus}. The aim of this study was to improve information about the comparative sensitivity of sea urchin bioassays to the heavy metals, which are an important cause of contamination in the ecosystem of the Lagoon of Venice. Considering the data in mM/L, the order of toxicity is Hg2{plus} > Cu2{plus} > Zn2{plus} > As3{plus} >= Cr3{plus} >= Cd2{plus} >= Pb2{plus} >= Ni2{plus} for the sperm cell test and Hg2{plus} >= Pb2{plus} > Cu2{plus} > Zn2{plus} > Cd2{plus} > Ni2{plus} >As3{plus} >= Cr3{plus} for the embryo test. New toxicity data for metals expressed as median effective concentration (EC50) and no-observed-effect concentration (NOEC) are reported for the Mediterranean species. Accurate observations of embryotoxic effects at increasing metal concentrations were done, detecting some different behaviors in metal toxicity. Toxicity data compared with water column and pore-water concentrations recorded in the Lagoon of Venice (Italy) demonstrate the potential ability of bioassays using sea urchin to detect important contaminants in this ecosystem

Author-supplied keywords

  • Embryo toxicity test
  • Heavy metals
  • Paracentrotus lividus
  • Sea urchin
  • Sperm cell toxicity test

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  • Alessandra Arizzi Novelli

  • Chiara Losso

  • Pier Francesco Ghetti

  • Annamaria Volpi Ghirardini

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