Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2011KY213B

Use of gene expression in longear sunfish (Lepomis megalotis) and green sunfish (Lepomis cyanellus) as a biomarker of polychlorinated biphenyl and metal exposure

Institute: Kentucky
Year Established: 2011 Start Date: 2012-01-01 End Date: 2013-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $10,000 Total Non-Federal Funds: $20,736

Principal Investigators: David Peyton, Ben Brammell

Abstract: Recent studies have described widespread incidences of anatomical and physiological alterations in fish linked to waterborne pollutants. Observed alterations include occurrence of intersex fish, abnormal hormone levels, reduction in reproductive success, the presence of tumors, and abnormal liver to body weight ratios. Although these studies provide great insight into the nature of contaminant effects, they are expensive, time consuming, and require specialized techniques. Monitoring the expression of biomarkers provides an alternative mechanism of contaminant detection that offers a number of advantages. We propose a study evaluating the use of eight biomarkers at the level of mRNA expression in two species of fish widely distributed throughout North America. We plan to obtain complete sequences for all eight biomarkers 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.