TFIP002: A novel oyster model for detection of estrogenic compunds in estuarine ecosystems
Download the project sheet here.
We aim to develop a series of biological assessment protocols in a native and commercially important molluscan species, the Sydney rock oyster (Saccostrea glomerata), to enable informed management decision making and remedial action in response to the potential impact of endocrine disrupting contaminants in Australian estuarine ecosystems.
Our laboratory has been the first internationally to examine the effects of estrogenic compounds on an endemic Australian bivalve mollusc, the Sydney rock oyster, S. glomerata. Initial experiments have focussed on assessing the effects of anthropogenically derived compounds with demonstrated estrogenicity on vitellogenesis and gonadal development
We have established a novel procedure to isolate and quantify Sydney rock oyster vitellogenin from gonadal tissues. Initial experiments suggest that vitellogenin is a sensitive biomarker of estrogen exposure and response in the Sydney rock oyster, responding to low levels of estrogenic compounds commonly found in STP effluents and receiving waters and thus has potential utility for detection of estrogenic presence and biological effects for testing of in field based scenarios.
Specifically, we aim to:
develop a suite of sensitive early warning biological indicators of low level, diffuse estrogenically active contaminants in a sentinel species
assess the utility of these indicators to monitor the presence of endocrine disrupting agents and effects under realistic field conditions to enable informed management decision making and remedial action.
We hope this project will form the basis for an external funding application.