Analysis of lipid peroxidation in animal and plant tissues as field-based biomarker in Mediterranean irrigated agroecosystems (Extremadura, Spain)

J Environ Sci Health B. 2018;53(9):567-579. doi: 10.1080/03601234.2018.1473962. Epub 2018 Jul 19.


The development of field-based biomarkers can allow for a more reliable assessment of the exposure of organisms to pollutants. Different sampling sites, along two streams running through an irrigable agricultural area, were selected to evaluate the effect of agrochemical load on the measured endpoints. The levels of lipid peroxidation were evaluated in several organs of Procambarus clarkii. The same method was applied to leaves of two woody species. Determining levels of MDA (malonaldehyde) by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances assay allows measuring the levels of lipid peroxidation. Differences in lipid peroxidation levels were observed in P. clarkii individuals collected at different sites; however, the patterns varied depending on the organ (when accounting for variations due to sex). The use of a MDA-gills/MDA-hepatopancreas index allowed for discrimination between reference and polluted sites. Significant differences in oxidative damage between sites were found in the leaves of Quercus rotundifolia but not in Salix sp. The lipid peroxidation of crayfish organs and holm oak leaves as a suitable biomarker of environmental pollution deserves further investigation.

Keywords: Bioaccumulation; biomarkers; pesticides; sentinel species.

MeSH terms

  • Agricultural Irrigation
  • Animals
  • Astacoidea / chemistry*
  • Astacoidea / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Gills / metabolism
  • Hepatopancreas / chemistry
  • Hepatopancreas / metabolism
  • Lipid Peroxidation*
  • Malondialdehyde / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Quercus / chemistry*
  • Quercus / metabolism
  • Spain
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Malondialdehyde