Genotoxicological Studies of Lower Stretch of the Sava River
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
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Genotoxicity monitoring of the lower stretch of the Sava River was performed by the combined approach of in situ assessment of genotoxicity and active biomonitoring of two species of mussels from the Unionidae family, Unio pictorum and Unio tumidus. Genotoxic response was studied using comet assay on hemocytes. For active biomonitoring, the mussels were acclimated to controlled laboratory conditions for 10 days and then exposed at two sites in the Sava River in the area of the city of Belgrade. Hemolymph of exposed specimens of each species was taken after 7, 14, and 30 days of exposure. For in situ assessment, the mussels were collected from five sites in the lower flow of the Sava River. The mussels were sampled immediately after the acclimation served as controls in both types of monitoring procedures. The results of our studies indicated the presence of genotoxic pollution at all studied sites at the Sava River. The level of DNA damage varied at different sites depending on the source and level of pollution. The response to genotoxic pollution was evident at the site in the urban area of Belgrade city, as well as at the sites far from the large urban settlements, suggesting that the lower flow of the Sava River is under pollution pressure.