Event Title

Gene-based biomonitoring in Pacific Coast seabirds: spatial comparison of contaminant burdens and xenobiotic-responsive gene expression

Presentation Abstract

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and trace metals can bioaccumulate in marine birds, potentially causing injury or mortality above certain concentrations. Additionally, the potential for catastrophic environmental disasters, for example petroleum spills due to regional increases in vessel traffic and diluted bitumen transport, underscore the need to collect baseline tissue-contaminant data and improve wildlife injury assessment capabilities. Using avian sentinel species for continental shelf and nearshore habitats, the rhinoceros auklet and double-rested cormorant, respectively, we aim to demonstrate the utility of an efficient gene expression-based approach (Avian ToxChip®) for linking contaminant burdens to transcript-level perturbations among breeding colonies, and potentially individuals, on the western coast of North America. A 2017 pilot study and ongoing research using eggs collected at breeding colonies quantifies POPs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and mercury in developing embryos. In addition to contaminants, the relative expression of 27 xenobiotic-responsive genes involved in pathways such as biotransformation, immune function, and oxidative stress response, is measured in embryonic liver tissue. Thus, this comparison of contaminant concentrations in sentinel species among colonies coupled with gene expression will improve our understanding of contaminant effects in wildlife while simultaneously evaluating the utility of gene expression as a biomarker.

Session Title

Biological Indicators of Stormwater Impacts and Mitigation Effectiveness in the Salish Sea

Conference Track

SSE3: Fate, Transport, and Toxicity of Chemicals

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE3-86

Start Date

6-4-2018 9:45 AM

End Date

6-4-2018 10:00 AM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 6th, 9:45 AM Apr 6th, 10:00 AM

Gene-based biomonitoring in Pacific Coast seabirds: spatial comparison of contaminant burdens and xenobiotic-responsive gene expression

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and trace metals can bioaccumulate in marine birds, potentially causing injury or mortality above certain concentrations. Additionally, the potential for catastrophic environmental disasters, for example petroleum spills due to regional increases in vessel traffic and diluted bitumen transport, underscore the need to collect baseline tissue-contaminant data and improve wildlife injury assessment capabilities. Using avian sentinel species for continental shelf and nearshore habitats, the rhinoceros auklet and double-rested cormorant, respectively, we aim to demonstrate the utility of an efficient gene expression-based approach (Avian ToxChip®) for linking contaminant burdens to transcript-level perturbations among breeding colonies, and potentially individuals, on the western coast of North America. A 2017 pilot study and ongoing research using eggs collected at breeding colonies quantifies POPs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and mercury in developing embryos. In addition to contaminants, the relative expression of 27 xenobiotic-responsive genes involved in pathways such as biotransformation, immune function, and oxidative stress response, is measured in embryonic liver tissue. Thus, this comparison of contaminant concentrations in sentinel species among colonies coupled with gene expression will improve our understanding of contaminant effects in wildlife while simultaneously evaluating the utility of gene expression as a biomarker.