Subcellular fractionation of Cu exposed oysters, Crassostrea virginica, and Cu accumulation from a biologically incorporated Cu rich oyster diet in Fundulus heteroclitus in fresh and sea water

Jonathan Blanchard, Kevin Brix, Martin Grosell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


In order to examine the effect of salinity on Cu accumulation from a naturally incorporated diet, oysters (Crassostrea virginica) were exposed in sea water for 96 days to four waterborne [Cu]: 2.9 ± 0.7 (control), 4.3 ± 0.6, 5.4 ± 0.5, and 10.7 ± 1.0 μg L- 1. After 96 days, the control whole body [Cu] increased from 2.1 ± 0.5 to 9.1 ± 1.1 μg g- 1 w.w. and the highest [Cu] was 163.4 ± 27.1 μg g- 1 w.w. in the oysters. Despite large differences in tissue [Cu], there was no effect on the fraction of trophically available metal in the oyster suggesting that trophic transfer will correlate well with tissue [Cu]. The control and highest [Cu] oysters became diet for killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) in fresh and seawater for 40 days. The two diets contained 84.7 ± 5.1 and 850.5 ± 8.8 μg Cu g- 1 d.w. Fish were fed a combined diet of oyster and a pellet supplement (20.5 ± 1.0 μg Cu g- 1 d.w.) both at 5% body mass day- 1. In killifish, Cu increased ~ 7% in gills and 100% in intestines after 6 weeks of exposure to the high Cu diet. No other tissues accumulated Cu above control levels. An 11-fold difference free Cu2+ concentrations was predicted in intestinal fluid between fresh and sea water, but there was no corresponding effect of salinity on intestinal Cu accumulation suggesting that Cu is not accumulated as the free ion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-537
Number of pages7
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - C Toxicology and Pharmacology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2009



  • Gut fluid chemistry
  • Killifish
  • Naturally incorporated diet
  • Trophically available metal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Toxicology

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