MINERAL CONTENT OF THE AFRICAN LUNGFISH, PROTOPTERUS ANNECTENS (OWEN) DECREASES WITH EXPOSURE TO SUBLETHAL DOSE OF BONNY LIGHT CRUDE OILPATRICK I. NDUKUBA
Sublethal doses of Bonny light crude oil were used to investigate the effect of the pollutant on the physiology and total lipid concentration in liver, intestine, stomach and muscle of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens (Owen). The results show a statistically significant increase (P <0.05) in total lipid concentrations of experimental tissues (33.34 -4- 16.20%) as compared with the control tissues (13.91 ± 1.22%), suggesting increased lipogenesis caused by exposure of the fish to sublethal doses of the crude oil. Furthermore, there was a decrease in the ash content in experimental tissues (3.93 ± 2.90%) when compared with the control tissues (6.92 ± 2.67%) suggesting depletion in micro-minerals such as copper (Cu) and iodine (1) which are abundant in seafoods, including fish. The function of lipids as a source of stored energy and the damage caused by crude oil spillage on estuarine ecosystems are discussed.
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