ENV Seminar Series - Fernando Galvez

DateOctober 3, 2013Time1:00 - 1:50 pm
LocationBSB E234
DescriptionPhysiological and Genomic Footpring of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf Killifish The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 released over 600 million liters into the Gulf of Mexico approximately 80 kilometers from the Louisiana coast. Shoreline Cleanup and Assessment Technique (SCAT) operations conducted by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) documented that over 1,000 kilometers of shoreline was oiled, with approximately 700 kilometers of this occurring in southern Louisiana. This seminar will describe the physiological and genomic impacts of weathered oil on populations of the Gulf killifish, Fundulus grandis, collected from coastal marsh. Gulf killifish are among the most abundant fishes in these oiled habitats and are key members of the ecological community. This species also serves as a useful site-specific indicator of the effects of environmental contamination because they are non-migratory and have high site fidelity, and are relatively sensitive to organic pollutants. We conducted a series of field studies spanning before and almost two years after oil made landfall. Genome expression within livers and gills of resident fish was most distinct at our most highly contaminated site at the peak of oil contamination documented by satellite imagery and analytical chemistry, showing a clear genomic footprint of oil exposure. Divergence in genome expression associated with exposure to contaminating oil is consistent with genome responses that are predictive of exposure to hydrocarbon-like chemicals and suggestive of physiological and reproductive impairment, and coincide with significant impacts on tissue morphology. In laboratory studies, exposure of embryos to sediments collected from contaminated sites increased the time to hatch, decreased hatch percentage, and produced severe developmental abnormalities in embryos and larvae.
PublisherEnvironmental Science
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