Shellfish farming is an important economic activity around the world. This activity often takes place in areas subjected to various recurring pollutions. The recrudescent use of herbicides in agriculture including atrazine implies pollutant transfer towards aquatic environment in estuarine areas. Harmful effects of such substances on animals in marine environment, particularly on cultured bivalves, are poorly documented. Bivalve molluscs such as mussels and oysters have been postulated as ideal indicator organisms because of their way of life. They filter large volumes of seawater and may therefore accumulate and concentrate contaminants within their tissues. Moreover, development of techniques allowing effect analysis of such compounds on bivalve biology may lead to the development of diagnosis tools adapted to analyze pollutant transfer towards estuarine areas. In this context, influence of atrazine on defence mechanisms was analyzed in Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas. Atrazine was tested in vitro and in vivo on oyster haemocytes, and its effects were analyzed by flow cytometry. Haemocyte viability, cell cycle and cellular activities were monitored. Atrazine induced no significant effect in oyster under tested conditions except for peroxidase activity.
Keywords: Atrazine, Crassostrea gigas, Pacific Oyster, Haemocytes, cytometry
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