Oxidative stress and bivalves: a proteomic approach


  • D Sheehan Proteomics Research Group, Dept. Biochemistry, University College Cork, Lee Maltings, Prospect Row, Mardyke, Cork, Ireland
  • B McDonagh Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, University of Cordoba, Campus de Rabanales, Córdoba 14071, Spain


bivalve, oxidative stress, mussel, clam, ecotoxicology


Bivalves are of major importance in aquatic ecology, aquaculture, are widely used as sentinel
species in environmental toxicology and show remarkable plasticity to molecular oxygen. Excess
reactive oxygen species (ROS) arising from molecular oxygen can cause oxidative stress and this is
also a consequence of exposure to many common environmental pollutants. Indices of oxidative
stress have therefore found favor as biomarkers of exposure and effect in environmental toxicology.
However, there is a growing body of literature on the use of discovery-led proteomics methods to
detect oxidative stress in bivalves. This is because proteins absorb up to 70 % of ROS leading to
complication of the proteome. This article explores the background to these developments and
assesses the practice and future potential of proteomics in the study of oxidative stress in bivalves.