PM15 Biomarkers
Exhibit Hall
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(PM215) Correlation between the level of hsp70 and DNA integrity in feral black bream (Acanthopagrus butcheri) in the Swan-Canning estuary, Western Australia.

WEBB, D1, GAGNON, M1, ROSE, T2, 1 Department of Environmental Biology, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia2 Water and Rivers Commission, Department of Environment, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

ABSTRACT- Black bream (Acanthopagrus butcheri) were collected from the Swan-Canning estuary, Western Australia, to determine whether heat shock protein 70 (hsp70) is a suitable biomarker of effect to detect sublethal cellular responses to contaminants within the estuary. In addition, DNA strand-breaks were measured using the alkaline unwinding assay and relationships established between Hsp70 and DNA integrity. Hsp70 in the field collected black bream (371<pixels mg protein-1<459) are significantly higher than both ′non-stressed′ (mean ± SEM,126 ± 24) and heat shocked (231 ± 21) laboratory-raised fish. Furthermore, the black bream within the estuary displayed low DNA integrity (0.37<F<0.65) compared to laboratory fish (F = 0.76). There was a significant negative correlation between hsp70 expression and DNA integrity suggesting that the black bream within the estuary are highly stressed. However, the data obtained in the field suggest that further investigation is required to determine if this stress is the result of natural stressors, anthropogenic contamination or both. Stress protein as a biomonitoring tool for on-site pollution in the Swan-Canning estuary has limitations but if used in conjunction with a series of biomarkers may be of value.

Key words: dna damage, hsp70, stress proteins, biomarkers

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