Superfund Research Program
Mechanisms and Impacts of PCB Resistant Fish
Project Leader: Mark E. Hahn (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Co-Investigators: Sibel I. Karchner (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), Neelakanteswar Aluru (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)
Grant Number: P42ES007381
Funding Period: 1995-2020
During the past year, adult Fundulus were collected from New Bedford Harbor (NBH, a Superfund site contaminated with PCBs) and from a clean creek on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The content of the biomarker enzyme cytochrome P450-1A (CYP1A) was measured. Mean CYP1A levels were low and not significantly different between fish from the two sites, despite the difference in contaminant levels. However, the fish from NBH have developed resistance to dioxin-like chemicals, as evidenced by the inability to induce CYP1A by TCDF, in contrast to strong induction in fish from the clean environment. In vitro fertilization was performed using sperm and eggs from the captured fish within each site. The resulting embryos are being raised for future experiments requiring fish with site-specific genetic background but lacking the chemical burden present in fish raised in the wild.