Paper No. JAWRA-07-0185-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until August 1, 2009.
Ecotoxicogenomics: Emerging Technologies for Emerging Contaminants1
Version of Record online: 27 JAN 2009
© 2008 American Water Resources Association
JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association
Volume 45, Issue 1, pages 83–96, February 2009
How to Cite
Poynton, H. C. and Vulpe, C. D. (2009), Ecotoxicogenomics: Emerging Technologies for Emerging Contaminants. JAWRA Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 45: 83–96. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-1688.2008.00291.x
- Issue online: 27 JAN 2009
- Version of Record online: 27 JAN 2009
- Received December 21, 2007; accepted March 21, 2008.
- aquatic ecology;
- environmental indicators;
- DNA microarrays;
- emerging contaminants
Abstract: In recent years, new classes of aquatic pollutants have received attention from environmentalists, scientists, and regulators due to their introduction into the environment, unforeseen effects associated with the pollutants, or enhanced analytical techniques presently capable of detecting them. Many of these emerging contaminants are not well studied, making predictions regarding their toxicity to aquatic organisms or environmental fate difficult. Genomic technologies, including DNA microarrays, have been employed in many areas of biology to study disease states and the interaction of chemicals and nutrients with organisms. Here, we present the potential utility of DNA microarrays to address the challenges of emerging contaminants. DNA microarrays produce gene expression profiles creating an illustration of how a pollutant is acting within an exposed organism. Homology searches and online tools such as Gene Ontology can aid in the inferring a Mode of Toxicity, which may guide toxicity testing and risk characterization. Signature gene expression profiles offer the potential to uncover novel biomarkers of exposure and predict the presence of these contaminants in aquatic organisms. The No Observed Transcriptional Effect Level may play a role in determining if a predicted environmental concentration poses a risk to a sensitive species within an ecosystem. Additionally, DNA microarrays may add a complementary approach to Toxicity Identification Evaluations and help characterize causal agents in complex effluents.