The blue mussel, Mytilus edulis is often used in marine biomonitoring programs. In this paper two different genotoxicity tests are considered as possible indicators for genotoxic pollution in the marine environment. One is focusing on micronucleus (MN) analysis in the blood cells of mussels and the other on the detection of DNA-adducts in the whole mussel tissue. The induction of MN has been studied in short-term laboratory experiments, during which mussels were exposed to standard genotoxins or waste water. Both genotoxicity tests have been applied in a study where mussels were exposed to contaminated sediment under controlled mesocosm conditions. These studies indicate that the MN mussel test may be used as a sensitive indicator of genotoxic pollution, although the inducibility of MN in the blood cells appears to be limited and to some extent seasonally dependent. The detection of DNA-adducts is still under development, but the preliminary result seems promising for its application as a biomonitoring tool.

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