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Assessment of Chemical Mixtures and Groundwater Effects on Daphnia magna Transcriptomics

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posted on 22.02.2016, 10:21 by Natàlia Garcia-Reyero, B. Lynn Escalon, Po−Ru Loh, Jennifer G. Laird, Alan J. Kennedy, Bonnie Berger, Edward J. Perkins
Small organisms can be used as biomonitoring tools to assess chemicals in the environment. Chemical stressors are especially hard to assess and monitor when present as complex mixtures. Here, fifteen polymerase chain reaction assays targeting Daphnia magna genes were calibrated to responses elicited in D. magna exposed for 24 h to five different doses each of the munitions constituents 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene, 2,4-dinitrotoluene, 2,6-dinitrotoluene, trinitrobenzene, dinitrobenzene, or 1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazacyclohexane. A piecewise-linear model for log-fold expression changes in gene assays was used to predict response to munitions mixtures and contaminated groundwater under the assumption that chemical effects were additive. The correlations of model predictions with actual expression changes ranged from 0.12 to 0.78 with an average of 0.5. To better understand possible mixture effects, gene expression changes from all treatments were compared using high-density microarrays. Whereas mixtures and groundwater exposures had genes and gene functions in common with single chemical exposures, unique functions were also affected, which was consistent with the nonadditivity of chemical effects in these mixtures. These results suggest that, while gene behavior in response to chemical exposure can be partially predicted based on chemical exposure, estimation of the composition of mixtures from chemical responses is difficult without further understanding of gene behavior in mixtures. Future work will need to examine additive and nonadditive mixture effects using a much greater range of different chemical classes in order to clarify the behavior and predictability of complex mixtures.