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Appears in Collections:Aquaculture Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Molecular responses of European flounder (Platichthys flesus) chronically exposed to contaminated estuarine sediments
Author(s): Williams, Tim D
Davies, Ian M
Wu, Huifeng
Diab, Amer
Webster, Lynda
Viant, Mark R
Chipman, James Kevin
Leaver, Michael
George, Stephen
Moffat, Colin F
Robinson, Craig D
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Keywords: Sediments
Issue Date: Aug-2014
Date Deposited: 14-May-2014
Citation: Williams TD, Davies IM, Wu H, Diab A, Webster L, Viant MR, Chipman JK, Leaver M, George S, Moffat CF & Robinson CD (2014) Molecular responses of European flounder (Platichthys flesus) chronically exposed to contaminated estuarine sediments. Chemosphere, 108, pp. 152-158.
Abstract: Molecular responses to acute toxicant exposure can be effective biomarkers, however responses to chronic exposure are less well characterised. The aim of this study was to determine chronic molecular responses to environmental mixtures in a controlled laboratory setting, free from the additional variability encountered with environmental sampling of wild organisms. Flounder fish were exposed in mesocosms for seven months to a contaminated estuarine sediment made by mixing material from the Forth (high organics) and Tyne (high metals and tributyltin) estuaries (FT) or a reference sediment from the Ythan estuary (Y). Chemical analyses demonstrated that FT sediment contained significantly higher concentrations of key environmental pollutants (including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chlorinated biphenyls and heavy metals) than Y sediment, but that chronically exposed flounder showed a lack of differential accumulation of contaminants, including heavy metals. Biliary 1-hydroxypyrene concentration and erythrocyte DNA damage increased in FT-exposed fish. Transcriptomic and 1H NMR metabolomic analyses of liver tissues detected small but statistically significant alterations between fish exposed to different sediments. These highlighted perturbance of immune response and apoptotic pathways, but there was a lack of response from traditional biomarker genes. Gene-chemical association annotation enrichment analyses suggested that polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were a major class of toxicants affecting the molecular responses of the exposed fish. This demonstrated that molecular responses of sentinel organisms can be detected after chronic mixed toxicant exposure and that these can be informative of key components of the mixture.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.01.028
Rights: 0045-6535/ (c) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (
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