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Biomarker Response and Persistent Contamination Levels in Estuarine Fish

PI: Keith A. Maruya (formerly: Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Savannah, Georgia, USA)

Support: Georgia Sea Grant College Program (R/HAB-10-PD).

Timeframe: 3/01/2000 - 2/28/2002 (complete)

Project Overview:
Genotoxic contaminants threaten the integrity of estuarine ecosystems; robust, sensitive and non-destructive indicators of genotoxicity in large organism, particularly, fish, are lacking. Previous research has no agreed whether FIBCOT is immune to other (non-contaminant) environmental stressors. Development of FIBCOT will help coastal resource professionals assess the impacts of persistent, genotoxic contaminants on the health of wild fish populations, without interference from other environmental stressors. The objectives of this project were:

  • To adapt and characterize the response of an assay that measures DNA damage in fish blood as an indicator of genotoxicity.
  • To characterize the effect on non-chemical stressors on the fish blood comet assay (FIBCOT).

The Comet assay was adapted and analytical conditions were optimized for whole blood of 2 fish species (Fundulus and seatrout). It was determined that FIBCOT was relatively insensitive to changes in several, non-contaminant environmental parameters, including water temperature, pH, salinity, and dissolved oxygen content.


Related Projects:
Impact of Phenolic and Dioxin-like Contaminants on Coastal Georgia Water Quality

    Biomonitoring for the Georgia Coast

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This page was updated October 13, 2006