Superfund Research Program
Molecular Genetic Bioreporting of Environmental Pollutants
Project Leader: Barry J. Beaty
Grant Number: P42ES005949
Funding Period: 1995 - 2000
Project Summary (1995-2000)In this project, population genetic approaches, using RAPD-PCR technologies, are being developed to investigate the genetic structure of selected aquatic arthropod bioreporter species in the Arkansas River-California Gulch Superfund Site, where the water quality is extremely poor due to heavy metal contamination from past mining and metallurgical operations. This approach permits identification of impediments to gene flow in the bioreporter species, which may be directly attributable to environmental pollution. Molecular genetic approaches, including differential display-PCR, are being used to identify specific metal responses (biomarkers) which determine tolerance to heavy metals in the bioreporter species. Metal responsive genes are being cloned, regulatory sequences identified and characterized, and this information used to develop molecular genetic biomarkers of heavy metal pollution. These two approaches (population genetic and molecular genetic) are providing environmental bioreporting capability at the population and individual level.