Short-term silver accumulation in tissues of three marine invertebrates: Shrimp Penaeus duorarum, sea hare Aplysia californica, and sea urchin Diadema antillarum

Adalto Bianchini, Richard C. Playle, Chris M. Wood, Patrick J. Walsh

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The present study was carried out to examine possible differential silver distribution among several tissues of three marine invertebrate species: the shrimp Penaeus duorarum, the sea hare Aplysia californica, and the sea urchin Diadema antillarum. Animals were exposed to sub-lethal concentrations of silver (1 or 10 μg/L) in seawater for 48 h. In gill-breathing species (shrimp and sea hare), higher silver accumulation in gills were associated with higher hemolymph silver levels. Furthermore, sea urchin showed lower hemolymph silver concentrations than shrimp and sea hare. These findings suggest that gills are an important route for silver uptake in marine invertebrates. In both sea hare and shrimp, hepatopancreas silver accumulation was concentration-dependent and this organ accumulated the most silver after 48 h of exposure, suggesting a possible involvement of the hepatopancreas in both silver accumulation and detoxification in marine invertebrates. In shrimp and sea hare, substantial silver accumulation in nervous tissues was detected, suggesting the need for further studies on possible behavioral effects of silver in these invertebrate species. In sea urchin, egg mass accumulated more silver than other tissues analyzed, indicating the need for future studies on possible reproductive effects of silver in sea urchin. In all three species, the lowest silver concentrations were observed in muscle, suggesting a low potential of this tissue for trophic transfer of silver.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-189
Number of pages8
JournalAquatic Toxicology
Issue number2 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Aug 30 2007



  • Accumulation
  • Biotic ligand model
  • Marine invertebrates
  • Sea hare
  • Sea urchin
  • Shrimp
  • Silver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science

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