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Biochemical alterations in the gills of three edible shellfishes Scylla serrata (mud crab), Penaeus monodon (tiger prawn) and Paphia malabarica (yellow foot clam) inhabiting the polluted and non-polluted regions of Ashtamudi Lake were assessed using standard methods. The results of the Fisher’s LSD (Least significant difference) Post hoc multiple comparison in the gill samples of S. serrata and P. monodon, reveals that site 1 and 2 (Polluted sites) significantly differ from site 3 (reference/ non polluted site) with respect to carbohydrate, fat, ash and moisture, except protein which significantly differ among all the sites. Considering the gills of Paphia malabarica, site 1 and 2 significantly differ from site 3 in the case of carbohydrate, fat, protein, and moisture, except ash, which was significantly, differ among the three sites. When compared with the samples of the non polluted / reference site significant reductions in the proximate compositions has been monitored in the tissues of the selected species collected from the polluted sites. The results clearly indicates the fact that shellfishes undergo physiological stress, when exposed to heavy metal contamination, and their biochemical synthesis is severely altered by pollutants.
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