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Your Environment. Your Health.

Duke University

Superfund Research Program

Transgenic Fish as Biosensors for Superfund Chemicals

Project Leader: Elwood A. Linney (Duke University Medical Center)
Grant Number: P42ES010356
Funding Period: 2000-2011

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Project Summary (2000-2005)

The goal of this project is to study the effects of pesticides upon gene expression of transgenic reporter genes that report changes in the estrogen-responsive, retinoic acid-responsive pathways in developing fish and in the development of the nervous system. Researchers are exploring the use of transgenic zebrafish models to screen several superfund chemicals for detectable differences of GFP expression. The behavior and incorporation of the GFP positive primordial germ cells into the developing reproductive tract is being investigated to see if treatment with pesticides has biological effects upon sexual determination of the fish. Additionally, researchers are developing dicistronic vectors for the appropriate transgenic promoters that will allow for ligand inducible expression of both a luciferase gene(for quantitative measurement) and a GFP gene(for anatomical localization of signal). These results are leading to development of Fundulus models with the most appropriate transgenes.

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