Exposure to microplastics reduces attachment strength and alters the haemolymph proteome of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis)

Green, Dannielle S. and Joseph, Colgan and Richard, Thompson and James, Carolan (2019) Exposure to microplastics reduces attachment strength and alters the haemolymph proteome of blue mussels (Mytilus edulis). Environmental Pollution, 246. pp. 423-434. ISSN 1873-6424

[img] Text
Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 10 December 2019.
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (650kB)
[img] Spreadsheet
Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only until 10 December 2019.
Available under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (59kB)
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2018.12.017

Abstract

The contamination of marine ecosystems with microplastics, such as the polymer polyethylene, a commonly used component of single-use packaging, is of global concern. Although it has been suggested that biodegradable polymers, such as polylactic acid, may be used to replace some polyethylene packaging, little is known about their effects on marine organisms. Blue mussels, Mytilus edulis, have become a “model organism” for investigating the effects of microplastics in marine ecosystems. We show here that repeated exposure, over a period of 52 days in an outdoor mesocosm setting, of M. edulis to polyethylene microplastics reduced the number of byssal threads produced and the attachment strength (tenacity) by ~50%. Exposure to either type of microplastic altered the haemolymph proteome and, although a conserved response to microplastic exposure was observed, overall polyethylene resulted in more changes to protein abundances than polylactic acid. Many of the proteins affected are involved in vital biological processes, such as immune regulation, detoxification, metabolism and structural development. Our study highlights the utility of mass spectrometry-based proteomics to assess the health of key marine organisms and identifies the potential mechanisms by which microplastics, both conventional and biodegradable, could affect their ability to form and maintain reefs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Biodegradable microplastics, Tenacity, Proteins, Polylactic acid, Polyethylene, Immunity
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Technology
Depositing User: Dr Dannielle S Green
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2018 09:54
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2018 14:56
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/703973

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item