Biochemical and behavioural responses of the endobenthic bivalve Scrobicularia plana to silver nanoparticles in seawater and microalgal food

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Pierre-Emmanuel Buffet
  • Jin-Fen Pan
  • Laurence Poirier
  • Claude Amiard-Triquet
  • Jean-Claude Amiard
  • Pierre Gaudin
  • Christine Risso-de Faverney
  • Marielle Guibbolini
  • Douglas Gilliland
  • Catherine Mouneyrac

Colleges, School and Institutes


Because of their bactericidal effects, Ag nanoparticles (Ag NPs) have promising industrial development but could lead to potential ecological risks. The aim of this study was to examine the uptake and effect of silver (soluble or as lactate Ag NPs of 40 nm) at low concentrations (10 μg L(-1)) in the endobenthic bivalve Scrobicularia plana exposed, for 14 days, directly (water) or via the diet (microalgae). The stability of Ag NPs in seawater was examined using dynamic light scattering. Release of soluble Ag from Ag NPs in the experimental media was quantified by using diffusive gradient in thin film. Bioaccumulation of Ag in bivalves was measured by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Behavioural and biochemical biomarkers were determined in bivalves. Aggregation of Ag NPs and the release of soluble Ag from Ag NPs were observed in the experimental media. For both forms of Ag, bioaccumulation was much more important for waterborne than for dietary exposure. The response of oxidative stress biomarkers (catalase, glutathion S-transferase, superoxide dismutase) was more important after dietary than waterborne exposure to Ag (soluble and NPs). These defences were relatively efficient since they led to a lack of response of damage biomarkers. Burrowing was not affected for bivalves exposed directly or through the diet to both Ag forms but feeding behaviour was impaired after 10 days of dietary exposure. Since no differences of responses to Ag either soluble or nanoparticulate were observed, it seems that labile Ag released from Ag NPs was mainly responsible for toxicity.

Bibliographic note

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-24
Number of pages8
JournalEcotoxicology and Environmental Safety
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • Animals, Behavior, Animal, Biological Markers, Bivalvia, Catalase, Food, Glutathione Transferase, Microalgae, Nanoparticles, Oxidative Stress, Seawater, Silver, Spectrophotometry, Atomic, Superoxide Dismutase