Genomic approaches with natural fish populations from polluted environments


  • Presented at the 30th Annual Meeting, SETAC North America, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, November 19–23, 2009.


Transcriptomics and population genomics are two complementary genomic approaches that can be used to gain insight into pollutant effects in natural populations. Transcriptomics identify altered gene expression pathways, and population genomics approaches more directly target the causative genomic polymorphisms. Neither approach is restricted to a predetermined set of genes or loci. Instead, both approaches allow a broad overview of genomic processes. Transcriptomics and population genomic approaches have been used to explore genomic responses in populations of fish from polluted environments and have identified sets of candidate genes and loci that appear biologically important in response to pollution. Often differences in gene expression or loci between polluted and reference populations are not conserved among polluted populations, suggesting a biological complexity that we do not yet fully understand. As genomic approaches become less expensive with the advent of new sequencing and genotyping technologies, they will be more widely used in complementary studies. However, although these genomic approaches are immensely powerful for identifying candidate genes and loci, the challenge of determining biological mechanisms that link genotypes and phenotypes remains. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 2011;30:283–289. © 2010 SETAC