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Dataset for: Genotoxic response and mortality in three marine copepods exposed to waterborne copper

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posted on 21.01.2022, 17:59 by Andrea Sahlmann, Torben Lode, Jan Heuschele, Katrine Borga, Josefin Titelman, Ketil Hylland
Copper (Cu) is an essential trace metal, but may also be toxic to aquatic organisms. While many studies have investigated the cytotoxicity of Cu, little is known about the in vivo genotoxic potential of Cu in marine invertebrates. We investigated the genotoxicity of Cu in two pelagic calanoid copepods Acartia tonsa and Temora longicornis and the intertidal harpacticoid copepod Tigriopus brevicornis by exposing them for 6 and 72 h to waterborne Cu (0, 6 and 60 µg Cu/L). A subsequent 24-h period in filtered seawater was used to investigate delayed effects or recovery. Genotoxicity was evaluated as DNA strand breaks in individual copepods using the comet assay. Cu did not increase DNA strand breaks in any of the species at any concentration or time point. Cu exposure did, however, cause 100% mortality in A. tonsa following exposure to 60 µg Cu/L. Acartia tonsa and T. longicornis were more susceptible to Cu-induced mortality than the benthic harpacticoid T. brevicornis, which appeared unaffected by the treatments. The results show major differences in Cu susceptibility between the three copepods and that acute toxicity of Cu to A. tonsa is not directly associated with genotoxicity. We also show that the comet assay can be used to quantify genotoxicity in individual copepods.