Energy metabolism enzymes inhibition by the combined effects of increasing temperature and copper exposure in the coral Mussismilia harttii

Juliana da Silva Fonseca, Laura Fernandes de Barros Marangoni, Joseane Aparecida Marques, Adalto Bianchini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The combined effects of exposure to increasing temperature and copper (Cu) concentrations were evaluated in the zooxanthellate scleractinian coral Mussismilia harttii. Endpoints analyzed included activity of enzymes involved in glycolysis (pyruvate kinase, PK; lactate dehydrogenase, LDH), Krebs cycle (citrate synthase, CS; isocitrate dehydrogenase; IDH), electron transport chain (electron transport system, ETS) and pentose phosphate pathway (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, G6PDH). Coral polyps were kept under control conditions (25.0 ± 0.1 °C; 2.9 ± 0.7 μg/L Cu) or exposed to combined treatments of increasing temperature (26.6 ± 0.1 °C and 27.3 ± 0.1 °C) and concentrations of dissolved Cu (5.4 ± 0.9 and 8.6 ± 0.3 μg/L) for 4 and 12 days using a mesocosm system. PK activity was not affected by stressors. LDH, CS, IDH, ETS and G6PDH activities were temporally inhibited by stressors alone. CS, ETS and G6PDH activities remained inhibited by the combination of stressors after 12 days. Furthermore, all combinations between increasing temperature and exposure Cu were synergistic after prolonged exposure. Taken together, stressors applied alone led to temporary inhibitory effects on energy metabolism enzymes of the coral M. harttii, however, prolonged exposure reveals strong deleterious effects over the metabolism of corals due to the combination of stressors. The present study is the first one to give insights into the combined effects of increasing temperature and Cu exposure in the energy metabolism enzymes of a scleractinian coral. Findings suggest that moderate Cu contamination in future increasing temperature scenarios can be worrying for aerobic and oxidative metabolism of M. harttii.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124420
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Climate change
  • Copper
  • Coral
  • Electron transport chain
  • Glycolysis
  • Krebs cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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