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PM05 Aquatic Vertebrate/Invertebrate Toxicology
(PM119A) Effects of Biologically Active Compounds on Melosira varians (Agardh.).
Tedrow, O1, Julius, M1, Schoenfuss, H1, 1 St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN, USA
ABSTRACT- Biologically active compounds have been discovered in many surface water samples in Europe and North America. Wastewater effluent is identified as a major source of contamination and found to revert much of the metabolic products of these biologically active compounds back to their original form. This presentation explains methodology for determining the effects of these contaminants through a newly developed bioassay, examining the physiological response of a diatom to these compounds. Diatoms represent an important aspect of the primary production community. They are a desirable food source over other members of the primary production community through storage of photosynthetically produced sugars in the form of lipids rather than starch. Therefore, members of higher trophic levels selectively feed on diatoms when present with other members of the primary production community. This study examines the effects of select biologically active compounds on the gross morphology and physiological development of the diatom species Melosira varians Agardh. Clearly, unicellular protists such as diatoms are not susceptible to these contaminants in a manner directly analogous to that expressed in vertebrates. However, many of these compounds are lipophilic making them particularly effective in entering the diatom cell membrane. Comparing cell density, lipid composition, fatty acid concentrations, and the electron microscope ultra-structure in control and exposed cultures achieve this study's experimental objectives. This diatom was selected because it commonly occurs in most freshwater environments and has been the subject of other toxicological studies. An adequate literature base also exists for evaluating results of this experiment. The species grows rapidly and is easy to maintain in culture.
Key words: Endocrine Disruptors, Diatom(s), Pharmaceuticals, Aquatic Toxicology
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