• genotoxicity;
  • comet assay;
  • alkaline unwinding assay;
  • gastropods;
  • DNA integrity;
  • cadmium chloride


This paper presents an evaluation of the genotoxic effects of cadmium chloride (CdCl2) on marine gastropod, Nerita chamaeleon following the technique of comet assay and the DNA alkaline unwinding assay (DAUA). In this study, the extent of DNA damage in gill cells of N. chamaeleon was measured after in vivo exposure to four different concentrations (10, 25, 50, and 75 µg/L) of CdCl2. In vitro exposure of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2; 1, 10, 25, and 50 µM) of the gill cells showed a significant increase in the percentage tail DNA, Olive tail moment, and tail length (TL). Significant changes in percentage tail DNA by CdCl2 exposure were observed in all exposed groups of snails with respect to those in control. Exposure to 75 µg/L of CdCl2 produced significant decrease in DNA integrity as measured by DAUA at all duration with respect to control. In vivo exposure to different concentrations of CdCl2 (10, 25, 50, and 75 µg/L) to N. chamaeleon showed considerable increase in DNA damage as observed by both alkaline comet assay and the DAUA. The extent of DNA damage in marine gastropods determined by the application of alkaline comet assay and DAUA clearly indicated the genotoxic responses of marine gastropod, N. chamaeleon to a wide range of cadmium concentration in the marine environment. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Environ Toxicol 30: 177–187, 2015.