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A critical review on integrating multiple fish biomarkers as indicator of heavy metals contamination in aquatic ecosystem

Vijay Hemmadi


An immense amount of data is available on biomarkers related to different eco-toxicants. But data on contaminant-specific biomarkers in fishes is sparse. Traditionally, detection and quantification of heavy metals in sediment, water, and biota gave us valuable information on the quantity and the type of heavy metal present in the ecosystem. This information can be utilized to select a heavy metal specific biomarker. For an instance, if Cadmium (Cd), Zinc (Zn) and Cupper (Cu) are at high concentration, then Metallothionein (MT) can be a good candidate biomarker. Along with this, Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is a very potent indicator of Iron (Fe) and Mercury (Hg) contamination and also Catalase (CAT) is specific for Cadmium (Cd) and Zinc (Zn) exposure. For these kinds of selection of biomarker, the researchers should know heavy metals type specific biomarker. This review is the small effort towards cumulating the heavy metals type specific biomarker. This demonstrates the exposure and effects of heavy metals in fishes by integrating the heavy metal quantification and biomarker selection.


Biomarker, Heavy metals, Metallothioneins; Oxidative stress; Genotoxicity

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