Biological Effects of Environmental Contaminants On Gene Expression Endpoints in Fishes of the Great Lakes

Thursday, September 12, 2013: 11:00 AM
White Oak (The Marriott Little Rock)
Cassidy Hahn , West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Luke R. Iwanowicz , Leetown Science Center, U.S.G.S. B.R.D.
Vicki Blazer , Leetown Science Center, U. S. Geological Survey
Patricia M. Mazik , WV Coop. Fish and Wildlife Res. Unit, U.S. Geological Survey, Morgantown, WV
A recent shift in environmental monitoring of the Great Lakes watershed includes the evaluation of a new group of compounds collectively referred to as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs).  Perhaps one of the best studied classes of CECs is that of the endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs).  A multiagency project is in progress to evaluate the significance of such chemicals on aquatic biota inhabiting the Great Lakes basin.  A component of this project involves the evaluation of biological perturbations in resident pelagic smallmouth bass and largemouth bass, and the benthic brown bullhead and white sucker throughout the Great Lakes Basin, but primarily in locations proximate to Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs).  Using next generation sequencing technologies biomarker genes were identified in these non-model species and gene expression analyses were conducted via qPCR or nCounter analysis.  Gene expression analysis was designed to complement the histopathological, plasma and other observations on the same individuals. It will also be compared to similar data available from caged fathead minnow studies performed by the Environmental Protection Agency.  In addition, genomic DNA has been collected for microsatellite analysis and population assignment.  The results and significance of these analyses will be discussed.