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Arsenobetaine formation in plankton: a review of studies at the base of the aquatic food chain.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23014956     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Arsenobetaine is one of the major organoarsenic compounds found in aquatic organisms, including seafood and fish meant for human consumption. It has been widely studied over the last 50 years because of its non-toxic properties, and its origin is postulated to be at bottom of the aquatic food chains. The present review focuses on arsenobetaine formation in marine and freshwater plankton, comparing the arsenic compounds found in the different plankton organisms, and the methods used to assess arsenic speciation. The main findings indicate that in the marine environment, phytoplankton and micro-algae contain arsenosugars, with the first traces of arsenobetaine appearing in herbivorous zooplankton, and becoming a major arsenic compound in carnivorous zooplankton. Freshwater plankton contains less arsenobetaine than their marine relatives, with arsenosugars dominating. The possible role and formation pathways of arsenobetaine in plankton organisms are reviewed and the literature suggests that arsenobetaine in zooplankton comes from the degradation of ingested arsenosugars, and is selectively accumulated by the organism to serve as osmolyte. Several arsenic compounds such as arsenocholine, dimethylarsinoylacetate or dimethylarsinoylethanol that are intermediates of this pathway have been detected in plankton. The gaps in research on arsenobetaine in aquatic environments are also addressed: primarily most of the conclusions are drawn on culture-based experiments, and few data are present from the natural environment, especially for freshwater ecosystems. Moreover, more data on arsenic in different zooplankton species would be helpful to confirm the trends observed between herbivorous and carnivorous organisms.
G Caumette; I Koch; K J Reimer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-9-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of environmental monitoring : JEM     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1464-0333     ISO Abbreviation:  J Environ Monit     Publication Date:  2012 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-9-27     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100968688     Medline TA:  J Environ Monit     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Environmental Sciences Group, Royal Military College of Canada, P.O. Box 17000 Stn. Forces Kingston, Ontario, K7K 7B4, Canada.
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