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Consequences of combined exposure to thermal stress and the plasticiser DEHP in Mytilus spp. differ by sex

Mincarelli, Luana Fiorella; Rotchell, Jeanette M.; Chapman, Emma C.; Turner, Alexander P; Wollenberg Valero, Katharina C.


Luana Fiorella Mincarelli

Emma C. Chapman

Alexander P Turner

Katharina C. Wollenberg Valero


Little is known about the combined effect of environmental factors and contaminants on commercially important marine species, and whether this effect differs by sex. In this study, blue mussels were exposed for seven days to both single and combined stressors (i.e., +3 °C elevated temperature and two environmentally relevant concentrations of the plastic softener DEHP, 0.5 and 50 μg/l) in a factorial design. Males were observed to be more sensitive to high temperature, demonstrated by the significant increase in out-of-season spawning gonads and higher gene expression of the antioxidant catalase and the estrogen receptor genes. On the other hand, while the gametogenesis cycle in females was more resilient than in males, DEHP exposure altered the estrogen-related receptor gene expression. We show that the combined stressors DEHP and increased temperature, in environmentally relevant magnitudes, have different consequences in male and female mussels, with the potential to impact the timing and breeding season success in Mytilus spp.


Mincarelli, L. F., Rotchell, J. M., Chapman, E. C., Turner, A. P., & Wollenberg Valero, K. C. (2021). Consequences of combined exposure to thermal stress and the plasticiser DEHP in Mytilus spp. differ by sex. Marine pollution bulletin, 170, Article 112624.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 5, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 16, 2021
Publication Date 2021-09
Deposit Date Jun 7, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 17, 2022
Journal Marine Pollution Bulletin
Print ISSN 0025-326X
Electronic ISSN 1879-3363
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 170
Article Number 112624
Keywords DEHP; Global warming; Gametogenesis cycle; Stress response; Estrogen receptor-like; Multiple stressors
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