Workshop on rotifers in ecotoxicology
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The aim of the workshop on rotifers in ecotoxicology was to stimulate discussions on new developments in the field. Discussions about the use of biomolecular tools indicate that gene expression analysis with rotifers should be available in the next few years. Such analyses will be a great asset as they enable ecotoxicologists to study molecular mechanisms of toxicity. Rotifers also appear as useful tools in the risk assessment of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites that find their way into aquatic ecosystems because their sensitivity to some of these substances is higher than that of cladocerans and algae. The nature and extent of the impact of potential endocrine disruptors on aquatic invertebrates is another poorly resolved issue for which rotifers are a promising tool. Indeed, rotifers seem to be particularly sensitive to androgenic and anti-antiandrogenic substances, whereas copepods and cladocerans are typically more affected by estrogens and juvenile hormone-like compounds. Besides their usefulness in these emerging fields of aquatic ecotoxicology, it was emphasized that research with rotifers on basic issues like, e.g., toxicant interference with predation, competition, or interspecific and interclonal variation in ecotoxicological tests is still needed.
KeywordsEcotoxicology Gene expression Endocrine disruption
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