Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India

Volume 58 Issue 1

Heavy metal accumulation and its impact on structural and biochemical
changes in the lobster Panulirus homarus homarus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Raju Subha, Lourdhraj Arockia Vasanthi1, Krishnamoorthy Dhanasekar and Natesan Munuswamy

Distribution of heavy metals and its associated structural and biochemical perturbations were studied in the tissues of lobster Panulirus homarus homarus collected from Royapuram harbour which receives effluents from various industries located in northern coast of Chennai and compared with that of the less polluted Kovalam coast. The concentrations of copper, zinc, iron and cadmium were quantified in gills, muscles, hepatopancreas and gonadal tissues. The results showed marked differences between the two sites as well as significant variations were observed between the tissues. Metal accumulation was seen in the order of Cu> Zn >Fe>Cd in lobsters collected from Royapuram (polluted site) and Zn>Cu>Fe>Cd from Kovalam (less polluted site). Overall, the highest metal concentrations were found in the lobster collected from Royapuram coast. Of various tissues, the metal accumulation was high in hepatopancreas and ovary of P. homarus homarus. Structural architecture of the tissues was further investigated by light and scanning electron microscopy. Histological studies clearly indicated degeneration and atrophy of muscle fibres, lumen disruption in hepatopancreas, conspicuously ovary showed mature oocytes without yolk granules and disruption of follicle cell in lobsters collected from Royapuram coast.However, such structural deformities were not encountered in lobsters from Kovalam. Similarly scanning electron micrograph of gill showed normal surface topography with prominent gill filaments in lobsters collected from Kovalam, whereas, gill architecture was completely disrupted in lobsters from Royapuram. This clearly reflects the impact of metal pollution on various tissues of lobsters, which may affect lobster resources in east coast of India.


Panulirus homarus homarus, industrial effluents, heavy metals, atrophy, necrosis

Date : 15-04-2016