Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011KY167B

Use of gene expression in longear sunfish and green sunfish as a biomarker of polychlorinated biphenyl and metal exposure

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2011-03-01 End Date: 2012-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $5,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $10,000

Principal Investigators: Ben Brammell

Abstract: Longear and green sunfish will be collected from both contaminated and reference sites surrounding the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. Gill and liver tissue will be removed and flash frozen in liquid nitrogen for transport back to the lab. Liver tissue will be removed from storage in the lab and a subsample removed and transferred to lysis buffer for total RNA isolation. We expect to obtain complete sequences for all eight (cytochrome P4501A, superoxide dismutase, metallothionein, glutathione peroxidase, catalase, glutathione S-transferase, aromatase CYP19, and vitellogenin) biomarker genes from both longear and green sunfish, sixteen sequences in all. These sequences will be submitted to GENbank as soon as they are obtained and will therefore be globally available to all researchers even before the completion of our analysis of expression. Sequences will be utilized to quantify biomarker gene expression in fish collected in both reference areas and areas receiving industrial effluent (and known to contain relatively high levels of both organic and metal contaminants). Contaminant levels will be measured in fish tissue, sediment, and water, and then these levels will be correlated to changes in gene expression in fish.