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Biomarker responses of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) exposed to polluted water from Kelani river basin, Sri Lanka: Implications for biomonitoring river pollution

Authors:

K. M. Ruvinda,

University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, GQ 11600, LK
About K. M.

Department of Zoology and Environmental Management

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Asoka Pathiratne

University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, GQ 11600, LK
About Asoka
Department of Zoology and Environmental Management
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Abstract

Biomarkers can be considered as early warning signals for potential adverse effects on the biota. The present study examined the feasibility of using selected biomarker responses of a model fish, Oreochromis niloticus under laboratory exposure approach for identification of potential biological impacts of pollution in Kelani River. Laboratory acclimated O. niloticus were exposed under static-renewal conditions to water samples collected from selected sites of the Kelani River basin with different anthropogenic influences and biomarker responses (brain and muscle cholinesterase activities for neurotoxicity, erythrocyte micronuclei and nuclear abnormalities for genotoxicity and liver histology for hepatic damage) were evaluated at 5 and 10 days of exposure. Exposed water was physico-chemically characterized using standard analytical methods. The results revealed that exposure of O. niloticus to the water from selected polluted sites which included canals and canal confluences resulted in significant increases (p<0.05) in total erythrocyte nuclear abnormalities, evolution of erythrocyte micronuclei and induction of liver histopathological indices in comparison to the fish exposed to the water from the upper reach of the river (reference site) in most cases and the control fish exposed to the aged tap water in all cases. Brain cholinesterase activity was significantly inhibited (p<0.05) in the fish exposed to the water from the most polluted site compared to the control fish exposed to the aged tap water. Biomarker responses indicated that the fish populations inhabiting the polluted sites in the river may be under stress especially due to hepatic damage and genotoxicity. Evaluation of “effect directed biomarker responses” of the model fish, O. niloticus following laboratory exposure to the contaminated water can be a practically feasible approach for biomonitoring potential pollution impacts associated with the riverine ecosystems.

How to Cite: Ruvinda, K.M. & Pathiratne, A., (2018). Biomarker responses of Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) exposed to polluted water from Kelani river basin, Sri Lanka: Implications for biomonitoring river pollution. Sri Lanka Journal of Aquatic Sciences. 23(1), pp.105–117. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljas.v23i1.7551
Published on 01 Mar 2018.
Peer Reviewed

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