The aim of this study was to identify a metallothionein (MT) coding sequence from the freshwater bivalve Corbicula fluminea and to measure the seasonal transcriptional pattern of MT in parallel with several detoxification genes: superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferases (GST) and glutathione peroxidases (GPx), in the digestive gland and the gills of this bivalve during a 1-year period. We identified a C. fluminea MT complete cDNA sequence using RT-PCR and RACE-PCR. The amino acid sequence deduced from the coding sequence encodes for a protein of 73 amino acids containing 21 cysteine residues. This protein exhibits high identities and similarities with the MT sequences of numerous bivalves. MT, SOD, CAT, pi-GST and Se-GPx expression patterns did not exhibit major seasonal variations. A slight increase of MT was observed in July. Therefore, the mRNA expression of these five genes could be used as biomarkers for monitoring studies.