Arsenic Bioaccumulation and Biotransformation in Clams (Asaphis violascens) Exposed to Inorganic Arsenic: Effects of Species and Concentrations

  • Wei Zhang
  • Zhiqiang Guo
  • Yun Wu
  • Yanlong Qiao
  • Li ZhangEmail author


High arsenic (As) concentrations are found in marine clams, usually as less-toxic arsenobetaine (AsB). However, when clams were exposed to elevated As concentrations in the environments, As species distribution within them may be altered. This study aimed to determine As bioaccumulation and biotransformation in marine clams (Asaphis violascens) along As concentration gradients for 10 days. Nine treatments of dissolved As exposure [control, 1, 3 (low), 10, 20 (high) mg/L As(III) and As(V)] were performed. Clams could biotransform low-levels of inorganic As efficiently, while they had lower biotransformation efficiencies when exposed to high As concentrations. AsB decreased with increasing As(III) and As(V) concentrations, while dimethylarsinic acid exhibited as a predominant As species in 3 mg/L exposure treatments. These results suggested that As methylation, synthesis and/or degradation of AsB should be affected by exposure concentrations. Therefore, these toxic As species within clams may cause a potential toxicological hazard to human beings.


Arsenic Bioaccumulation Biotransformation Waterborne exposure Clam 



We thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions. This work was supported by National Key Research and Development Project (2017YFC0506302), National Natural Science Foundation of China (21876180, 41876133); Guangzhou Science and Technology Plan Projects (201710010173).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory for Water Quality and Conservation of the Pearl River Delta, Ministry of Education, Institute of Environmental Research at Greater BayGuangzhou UniversityGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.State Key Laboratory of Marine Resource Utilization in South China Sea, College of OceanologyHainan UniversityHaikouChina
  4. 4.Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Atmospheric Environment Monitoring and Pollution Control, School of Environmental Science and EngineeringNanjing University of Information Science & TechnologyNanjingChina
  5. 5.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringTianjin UniversityTianjinChina

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