Influence of cadmium accumulation and dietary status on fatty acid composition in two colour forms of shore crabs, Carcinus maenas
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The effects of cadmium exposure and dietary status on cadmium accumulation, fatty acid (FA) content and profiles were investigated in two colour forms of the shore crab Carcinus maenas. Groups of shore crabs were either starved or fed with blue mussels, Mytilus edulis, during a 40 d exposure period to 2 or 6 μM Cd2+ (as CdCl2). Starved green individuals accumulated more cadmium in haemolymph and hepatopancreas than did red crabs and green crabs fed during the experiments. In the red colour form, no difference in cadmium accumulation was observed between starved and fed individuals. In both colour forms, hepatopancreas contained more FA than gills and muscle. The FAs often present in the largest amounts in the tissues were 16:0, 16:1ω7, 18:1ω7, 18:1ω9, 20:4ω6, 20:5ω3 and 22:6ω3. However, saturated (SAFA) and mono-unsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) were dominant in hepatopancreas, whereas poly-unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were dominant in gills and muscles. At the beginning of the experiment, the total FA content in the hepatopancreas was 111.6 mg g−1 (dry weight) for red crabs and 78.4 mg g−1 for green shore crabs. During the experiment, however, the FA content decreased in red crabs. This decrease was more pronounced for starved individuals than for fed individuals. Also, the decrease in FA content was more pronounced in crabs exposed to 6 μM cadmium compared to crabs exposed to 2 μM or crabs not exposed to cadmium. No change in FA content was observed in green shore crabs, irrespective of diet and cadmium exposure. For both colour forms, no change in FA content was observed for gills and muscle. In red crabs, a decrease was observed for all FAs in the hepatopancreas. This decrease, however, was more pronounced for SAFAs and MUFAs than for PUFAs, indicating that the metabolism of FAs during starvation and cadmium exposure is selective. The experiments indicate that green colour forms of shore crabs are more tolerant of natural stress such as starvation and anthropogenic stress, e.g. cadmium exposure, than are red colour forms of shore crabs.
KeywordsCadmium Total Fatty Acid Fatty Acid Content Colour Form Blue Mussel
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