School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences Faculty Publications and Presentations

Molecular and biochemical biomarkers in the American oyster Crassostrea virginica exposed to herbicide Roundup® at high temperature

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Aquatic organisms are frequently exposed to various environmental stressors. Thus, the effects of high temperatures and herbicides on aquatic organisms are a major subject of interest. In this study, we studied the effects of short-term exposure (1 week) to Roundup®, a glyphosate-based herbicide (concentrations: 0.5 and 5 µg/L), on the morphology of gills, digestive glands, and connective tissues, and the expression of heat shock protein-70 (HSP70, a chaperone protein), cytochrome P450 (CYP450, a biomarker of environmental contaminants), dinitrophenyl protein (DNP, a biomarker of protein oxidation), nitrotyrosine protein (NTP, a biomarker of protein nitration), antioxidant enzymes such as superoxidase dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in tissues of American oyster, Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin, 1791) maintained at high temperature (30 °C). Histological analyses showed an increase in mucous production in the gills and digestive glands, and in hemocyte aggregation in the connective tissues as well as a structural change of lumen in the digestive glands of oysters exposed to Roundup. Immunohistochemical and quantitative RT-PCR analyses showed significant (P < 0.05) increases in HSP70, CYP450, DNP, NTP, CAT, and SOD mRNA and protein expressions in the tissues of oysters exposed to Roundup. Taken together, these results suggest that exposure to Roundup at high temperature induces overproduction of reactive oxygen species/reactive nitrogen species which in turn leads to altered prooxidant-antioxidant activity in oyster tissues. Moreover, our results provide new information on protein oxidation/nitration and antioxidant-dependent mechanisms for HSP70 and CYP450 regulations in oysters exposed to Roundup at high temperature.


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Environ Sci Pollut Res