Integrated use of condition indexes, genotoxic and cytotoxic biomarkers for assessing pollution effects in fish (Mullus barbatus L., 1758) on the West coast of Algeria


  • Kaddour Amina
  • Belhoucine Fatma
  • Alioua Amel



Coastal pollution is a severe threatens to aquatic organisms. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the temporal and spatial variability of the biological responses of Mullus barbatus collected between autumn 2019 and summer 2020 from two impacted areas and a control site, along the Algerian west coast. Besides the condition indexes (gonadosomatic index GSI, hepatoso-matic index HSI and Fulton’s condition factor K), the micronucleus test (MNT) and the neutral red retention time (NRRT) assay were measured in erythro-cytes. The results revealed a significant correlation between the different fish condition indexes, in link with their reproduction cycle at the three sam-pling sites. Also, GSI, HSI and K showed significant differences between the sites (p<0.05), highlighting the fact that the worst environmental conditions occur at the polluted sites in comparison to the reference one. The study of the two biomarkers showed a significant increase (p<0.05) in the frequency of micronuclei (MN) occurrence in the summer period correlated with signifi-cantly (p<0.05) shorter NRRT. In addition, the erythrocytes of M. barbatus populations from the so-called polluted areas presented statistically (p<0.05) higher MN frequencies and shorter NRRT than those of the reference site. This work should contribute to the validation of the use both of the condi-tion indexes (GSI, HSI and K) and the biomarkers (MN and NRRT tests) in bio-monitoring studies of the marine environment since they allowed to deter-mine the level of exposure to the general environmental stress of the investi-gated red mullet populations and, consequently, the quality of their biotope.






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