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Salar Gaeini

Laboratory Toxicology

Poster Session




Investigating the effect of venlafaxine on the behaviour of washboard mussels (Megalonaias nervosa)


The presence of pharmaceuticals in aquatic ecosystems has raised concerns about their potential impact on the organisms that thrive there. Venlafaxine, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, is among the emerging contaminants found in aquatic environments. This study examines the behavioral response of washboard mussels (Megalonaias nervosa) to venlafaxine exposure, aiming to elucidate potential sublethal effects on this ecologically important species. Mussels were exposed to environmentally relevant concentrations of venlafaxine in controlled laboratory conditions for 5 days. The mussels were observed during exposure using timelapse photograph for 8 hours per day. Behavioral endpoints include valve opening, ability to bury, and foot presence over time. Preliminary results suggest significant alterations in mussel behavior following exposure to venlafaxine, with potential implications for mussel health. Mussels that are incapable of burying or retracting their foot into their shells will have difficulty feeding, reproducing, and will be at greater risk of being dislodged by the current and predation. Understanding the behavioral responses of mussels to pharmaceutical contaminants like venlafaxine is crucial for assessing the broader ecological consequences.

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