The Effects of Sub-lethal Dietary Mercury on Growth Performance, Bioaccumulation, and Activities of Antioxidant Enzymes in Sea Cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus

  • Zequn Li
  • Tongjun Ren
  • Yuzhe Han
  • Zhiqiang Jiang
  • Yanan Hu
  • Zhuoan Bai
  • Lianshun Wang
  • Jingyun Ding


Triplicate groups of sea cucumbers (4.83 ± 0.15 g) were exposed to one of the four nominal concentrations of dietary mercury [0 (control), 67.6, 338, and 676 mg/kg dry weight, and actually total mercury were 17.55, 87.00, 275.50, 468.50 mg/kg, respectively; Table 3] for 21 days. Mercury accumulation in the intestine showed the greatest mercury burden (77.96 ± 1.20 mg Hg/kg tissue wet weight basis). However, survival rate (SR) was not affected. Body weight gain after the 676 mg Hg/kg treatment was significantly lower than the control group. The feed conversion rate of the 676 mg Hg/kg treatment group was significantly higher than the control group. Additionally, the superoxide dismutase (SOD) and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) of sea cucumbers decreased as the mercury dose increased. SOD, T-AOC and alkaline phosphatase of the 676 mg Hg/kg treatment group were significantly lower than the control group. However, there were no significant differences between the four groups in acid phosphatase and catalase (CAT) activity.


Heavy metal Echinoderm Growth performance Antioxidant enzymes Bioaccumulation 



This work was funded by the Public Science and Technology Research Fund Project of Ocean of the State Oceanic Administration of the People’s Republic of China (Grant No. 201405003) and the Science and Technology Research Fund Project of the Dalian City Oceanic and Fishery Administration, Liaoning Province, China (Grant No. 20140101).


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zequn Li
    • 1
  • Tongjun Ren
    • 1
  • Yuzhe Han
    • 1
  • Zhiqiang Jiang
    • 1
  • Yanan Hu
    • 1
  • Zhuoan Bai
    • 1
  • Lianshun Wang
    • 1
  • Jingyun Ding
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Mariculture & Stock Enhancement in North China’s Sea, Ministry of AgricultureDalian Ocean UniversityDalianChina

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