Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 165, Issue 2, pp 222–232 | Cite as

Cadmium Accumulation and Metallothionein Response in the Freshwater Bivalve Corbicula fluminea Under Hydrodynamic Conditions

  • Nan Geng
  • Chao Wang
  • Peifang Wang
  • Ning Qi
  • Lingxiao Ren


Freshwater bivalves such as Corbicula fluminea (Müller) are useful biomonitors for cadmium pollution because they absorb heavy metals and accumulate them in their tissues. We exposed C. fluminea in the laboratory to natural and cadmium (Cd)-spiked sediments below flowing water in order to evaluate the organisms’ Cd accumulation and metallothionein (MT) response under hydrodynamic conditions. The accumulation of Cd and the induction of MT in C. fluminea were determined at 0, 1, 3, 6, 10, 16, and 23 days. Hydrodynamic conditions, represented by a water flow rate of 14 or 3.2 cm/s, increased Cd accumulation in the visceral mass, gill, foot, and mantle of C. fluminea in the first 3 or 6 days in the natural sediment. Cd concentrations in the C. fluminea tissues kept increasing over time in the three treatments, and significant differences were observed in Cd accumulation after 6 (visceral mass), 10 (foot) and 16 (gill and mantle) days among the three groups. The MT concentrations were barely affected by hydrodynamic conditions and were significantly linearly related to the Cd concentration in the visceral mass in the natural sediment and binomially related to it in the Cd-spiked sediment. Hydrodynamic conditions enhanced the accumulation of Cd in the soft tissues of C. fluminea, especially in the Cd-spiked sediment, but stronger hydrodynamic forces did not increase Cd accumulation. MT may be considered an indicator for Cd accumulation in C. fluminea under hydrodynamic conditions, but only when the Cd concentrations in the tissue remain below the toxic threshold values.


Cadmium Accumulation Corbicula fluminea Hydrodynamic conditions Metallothionein 



We are grateful for grants from National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars (No. 51225901), the Outstanding Youth Fund of Jiangsu Province (No. BK2012037), National Science Funds for Creative Research Groups of China (No. 51421006), Program for Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (No. IRT13061), Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41430751), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51479065), and a Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nan Geng
    • 1
  • Chao Wang
    • 1
  • Peifang Wang
    • 1
  • Ning Qi
    • 1
  • Lingxiao Ren
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Integrated Regulation and Resource Department on Shallow Lakes, Ministry of Education, College of EnvironmentHohai UniversityNanjingChina

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