Several biological levels are considered as signals of environmental perturbations so that integrative biological responses have been proposed in environmental monitoring activities. We evaluated the use of markers in Mytilus galloprovincialis at two different levels (protein nitration and S-nitrosylation, and geometric morphometrics) to investigate the sea coastal environmental status. We studied adductor muscle, digestive gland and valves of mussels collected from 3 sampling sites (2 disturbed + 1 control) in eastern Tyrrhenian Sea, and 2 (1 + 1) in western Ionian Sea. Molecular and morphometric markers showed significant variations in relation to environmental conditions, but the most interesting result was evidenced by the analysis of covariation between both protein post-translational modifications and geometric morphometric descriptors. The main interesting finding regards the relationship between protein nitration values (an irreversible molecular marker) of both adductor muscle and digestive gland, and geometric morphometric descriptors (that are Procrustes’ distances) of valve shapes. Molecular and morphometric markers revealed useful warning systems in detecting environmental changes, even if causes and mechanisms altering both cellular metabolism and shape morphology are still unclear. Our findings suggested that pollutants affected the normal cellular metabolic pathways altering the correct functionality at higher biological levels and producing developmental detrimental noise visible on the shell.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.