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Keywords:

  • heavy metals;
  • metallothionein;
  • Mullus barbatus;
  • Mytilus galloprovincialis;
  • Salento

Abstract

1. The aim of the present study was to identify possible ecotoxicological risk of heavy metal contamination along the coast of the Salento Peninsula (South of Italy) evaluating levels of metallothioneins (Mts), by a spectrophotometric method, in two bioindicator species: Mytilus galloprovincialis and Mullus barbatus.

2. Cellular stress response to heavy metals, indicated by increased levels of Mt, measured in marine organisms can represent an early warning of heavy metal contamination along the Salento coast particularly at the hot spot of Brindisi and act as an alert for possible toxic effects on higher level organisms. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.