Journal of environmental monitoring : JEM

Thio arsenosugars in freshwater mussels from the Danube in Hungary.

PMID 15986048


In contrast to the large body of data on naturally-occurring arsenic compounds in marine organisms, relatively little is known about arsenic speciation in freshwater biota. We report an investigation using HPLC-ICPMS into the arsenic compounds in five species of freshwater mussels collected from five sites from the Danube in Hungary. Total arsenic concentrations in the mussels ranged from 3.8-12.8 mg As kg(-1). The arsenic speciation patterns were broadly similar for mussels representing each of the five species and five sites, but quite different from those reported for marine mussels. The major extractable arsenicals were two oxo arsenosugars (glycerol sugar and phosphate sugar), and their thio analogues (thio glycerol sugar and thio phosphate sugar). Arsenobetaine, usually the major arsenical in marine organisms, was not a significant compound in the freshwater mussels and was detected in only three of the 11 samples. This is the first report of thio arsenosugars in freshwater biota and suggests that these compounds may be common and widespread naturally-occurring arsenicals.