Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

LSU researchers find impact of oil spill in marsh fish species

27.09.2011
A research team led by LSU Associate Professors of Biological Sciences Fernando Galvez and Andrew Whitehead has published the results of a combined field and laboratory study showing the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on fish living in Louisiana marshes.

The study, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, or NSF, and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative is being published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, or PNAS. Their study shows that, despite very low to non-detectable concentrations of oil constituents in the water and in fish tissues, biological effects in fish indicate dramatic responses that are indicative of exposures to the toxic components of oil.

That is, the biological responses of the fish were much more sensitive indicators of exposures and effects from the contaminating oil than the environmental chemistry was.

"Though the fish may be 'safe to eat' based on low chemical burdens in their tissues, that doesn't mean that the fish are healthy or that the fish are capable of reproducing normally," said Whitehead.

Genome expression responses detected in liver tissues were predictive of the types of responses associated with developmental abnormalities and death observed in previous studies by Galvez and Whitehead. Furthermore, responses were predictive of impairment of fish reproduction, meaning that the probability of impact on populations is significant.

Additionally, gill tissues, which are important for maintaining critical body functions, appeared damaged and had altered protein expression coincident with oil exposure, and these effects persisted for long after the visible oil disappeared from the marsh surface. Controlled exposures in laboratory settings of developing embryos to field-collected waters induced similar cellular responses.

"This is of concern because early life-stages of many organisms are particularly sensitive to the toxic effects of oil and because marsh contamination occurred during the spawning season of many important species," Whitehead.

A major take-home message of the more than two decades of research following the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska was that sub-lethal biological effects, especially those associated with reproduction, were most predictive of the long-term population-level impacts still apparent in many species such as herring and salmon. The current LSU study shows that early signals of similar kinds of sub-lethal effects are starting to emerge in an ecologically-important species following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The LSU research group is currently following up with studies examining more direct effects of oil exposure on reproduction, development and growth.

Ashley Berthelot | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.lsu.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Bioinvasion on the rise
15.02.2017 | Universität Konstanz

nachricht Litter Levels in the Depths of the Arctic are On the Rise
10.02.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>