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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1817-1833; doi:10.3390/ijerph120201817

Gonadal Disorder in the Thinlip Grey Mullet (Liza ramada, Risso 1827) as a Biomarker of Environmental Stress in Surface Waters

1
Laboratorio di Ecologia Sperimentale ed Acquacoltura, Dipartimento di Biologia, "Tor Vergata" University, Rome (RM), Via Cracovia 1 00134, Italy
2
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise "G. Caporale", Via Campo Boario, 64100 Teramo (TE), Italy
3
Department of Biology, College of Science, Basrah University, Basrah 61004, Iraq
4
Dipartimento di Ambiente e Connessa Prevenzione Primaria, National Institute of Health (ISS), Via Regina Elena 299, Roma (RM) 00181, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: William E. Hawkins
Received: 11 December 2014 / Revised: 29 December 2014 / Accepted: 29 January 2015 / Published: 5 February 2015
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of gonadal alterations in the thinlip grey mullet (Liza ramada) as a biological indicator in assessing aquatic ecosystems health, with particular emphasis to river ecosystems exposed to sewage discharges. For this purpose, the reproductive status and the presence of gonadal alterations were studied in 206 mullets collected from two sites on the low course of the Tiber River, downstream of a large urban sewage treatment plant and in the estuarine area, and from an uncontaminated pond considered as reference site. Intersex and irregularly shaped gonads were observed in 20.8% of the mullets from the most polluted site, and intersex gonads in 10.3% of those from the estuarine area. No alterations were detected in the fish from the reference site, which also showed distinct stages of gonadal development. Conversely, unclear stages of testicular and ovary development were observed in the fish from the two polluted river sites. The results of this study suggest that L. ramada may represent a sentinel species in environmental risk assessment and support the use of gonadal alterations of this species as a bioindicator for extensive monitoring of pollution in lower stretches of rivers and estuarine areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: fish; mugilidae; gonadal disorders; bioindicators; water pollution; biomonitoring fish; mugilidae; gonadal disorders; bioindicators; water pollution; biomonitoring
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Tancioni, L.; Caprioli, R.; Al-Khafaji, A.H.D.; Mancini, L.; Boglione, C.; Ciccotti, E.; Cataudella, S. Gonadal Disorder in the Thinlip Grey Mullet (Liza ramada, Risso 1827) as a Biomarker of Environmental Stress in Surface Waters. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 1817-1833.

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