Stefano Ruberto, Daniele Buono and Alfredo Santovito

Polychaetes as bioindicators of environmental pollution: Impact of bisphenol A on the reproduction rate of Ophryotrocha diadema (Åkesson, 1976) (Eunicida: Dorvilleidae)

Abstract Bisphenol A (BPA) is one of the most used additives in the production of many plastic products and may be released into the environment by commonly used products, such as food containers and polycarbonate bottles. BPA is recognized as an endocrine disruptor able to produce adverse effects on the reproduction system of benthonic and pelagic species. Polychaetes of the genus Ophryotrocha are small worms living amongst the interstitial fauna in nutrient-rich and polluted habitats. Owing to easy rearing in the laboratory and short generation times, this species is a useful model organism for studying different biological aspects. This study describes the effects of different BPA concentrations on egg production in Ophryotrocha diadema. We tested six different concentrations of BPA in a 5-week experiment. Strong negative correlation between BPA concentrations and the number of eggs produced was found. The t-test revealed a significant reduction in egg production after exposure to BPA concentrations over 1461.1 μg/L. The latter concentration value is higher than that observed in the marine environment, although for many species of crustaceans, echinoderms and isopods, the impairment of reproductive function was observed even at much lower BPA concentrations.


Keywords BPA; polychaetes; Ophryotrocha; marine invertebrates; reproductive function

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