State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2012KY201B
Title: Development and calibration of biomarkers in native sunfish for use in detection of endocrine active compounds
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2012
End Date: 2/28/2013
Congressional District: KY 5th
Focus Categories: Ecology, Water Quality, Surface Water
Keywords: endocrine disruptors, nucleic acid sequences
Principal Investigators: Peyton, David; Brammell, Ben
Federal Funds: $ 5,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 10,166
Abstract: A number of waterborne pollutants have the ability to induce anatomical and physiological alterations in fish. Alterations observed include occurrence of intersex fish, abnormal hormone levels, reduction in reproductive success, the presence of tumors, and abnormal liver to body weight ratios. These alterations have been demonstrated to result from pollutants that affect the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonad axis, collectively referred to as endocrine active compounds (EACs). We propose a study evaluating the use of six biomarkers at the level of mRNA expression in two species of fish (longear and green sunfish) widely distributed throughout North America. The results of this study will provide data essential to the utilization of biomarkers for contaminant detection using native species and in addition will provide tools, in the form of nucleic acid sequences that will be universally available to researchers and enable the widespread use of biomarkers for contaminant detection. Response of endocrine sensitive genes will be quantified and correlated with estradiol concentration to assess the sensitivity of these genes as biomarkers of EAC exposure in native sunfish.

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