Superfund Research Program
Sentinel Species: Xenobiotics, Toxicity, and Reproduction
Project Leader: Ian P. Callard
Grant Number: P42ES007381
Funding Period: 1995 - 2000
In the initial phases of this study, field work was performed to study the sites and assess site access, map general topography in relationship to habitation, identify potential groundwater access sites, and liaison with local officials for permitting purposes. Traps were set to sample the turtle population in ponds in the path of a contaminated groundwater plume from the Otis Air Force Base Superfund site. Fresh water mussels were readily obtained and catfish were clearly present. The turtle population was assessed during field trips in October and November, returned to the laboratory, autopsied, and data collected to evaluate reproductive status. Liver microsomes were obtained for CYP1A, CYP4A, glutathione S-transferase and vitellogenin assays and tissue samples frozen for subsequent heavy metal analysis. In parallel with the field studies, enzyme assays, methods for heavy metal analysis, and laboratory conditions for the maintenance of fresh water mussels were established. At the end of the year, standard microalgal cultures were established and algal cultures isolated from one of the ponds, in preparation for the planned toxicity bioassays of ground- and surface-water samples and subfractions.