DNA damage in male gonad cells of Green mussel (Perna viridis) upon exposure to tobacco products
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DNA damage (determined by the Comet Assay) and the occurrence of deformed nuclei were measured as endpoints of genotoxicity in male gonad cells of the marine mussel (Perna viridis). Upon exposure of the organism to varying concentrations of extracts of smoked and non-smoked cigar tobacco over a period of 16 days, DNA damage was found to be highest in marine mussels exposed to extracts of smoked cigar tobacco. Conversely, more deformed nuclei were detected in marine mussels exposed to extracts of non-smoked cigar tobacco. The level of DNA damage and the number of deformed nuclei reach a maximum at day 12 of exposure to both extracts but decrease thereafter. This phenomenon is attributed to the organism’s capacity to maintain the integrity of its genetic material upon exposure to potential genotoxicants present in the tobacco extracts. A dose response in DNA damage and deformed nuclei was also detected in isolated gonad cells upon in vitro exposure to hydrogen peroxide a known DNA strand breaking agent. The results of this study indicate that the DNA in male gonad cells of the marine mussel is damaged upon exposure to genotoxicants, and suggests the suitability of the organism for future investigations into the effect of such agents on its reproductive capacities.
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