, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 641-647
Date: 28 Oct 2008

Transcriptome profiling in crustaceans as a tool for ecotoxicogenomics

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Chemicals released into the environment have the potential to affect various species and it is important to evaluate such chemical effect on ecosystems, including aquatic organisms. Among aquatic organisms, Daphnia magna has been used extensively for acute toxicity or reproductive toxicity tests. Although these types of tests can provide information on hazardous concentrations of chemicals, they provide no information on their mode of action. Recent advances in toxicogenomics, the integration of genomics with toxicology, have the potential to afford a better understanding of the responses of aquatic organisms to pollutants. In a previous study, we developed an oligonucleotide-based DNA microarray with high reproducibility using a Daphnia expressed sequence tag (EST) database. In this study, we increased the number of genes on the array and used it for a careful ecotoxicogenomic assessment of Daphnia magna. The DNA microarray was used to evaluate gene expression profiles of neonate daphnids exposed to beta-naphthoflavone (bNF). Exposure to this chemical resulted in a characteristic gene expression pattern. As the number of the genes on an array was increased, the number of genes that were found to respond to the chemicals was also increased, which made the classification of the toxic chemicals easier and more accurate. This newly developed DNA microarray can be useful for a obtaining a better mechanistic understanding of chemical toxicity effects on a common freshwater organism.