EPA Science Inventory

POPULATION GENETIC STRUCTURE OF A NON-MIGRATORY MARINE FISH FUNDULUS HETERCLITUS ACROSS A STRONG GRADIENT OF PCB CONTAMINATION

Citation:

Roark, S. A., D E. Nacci, L Coiro, D M. Champlin, AND S. I. Guttman. POPULATION GENETIC STRUCTURE OF A NON-MIGRATORY MARINE FISH FUNDULUS HETERCLITUS ACROSS A STRONG GRADIENT OF PCB CONTAMINATION. ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY AND TOXICOLOGY. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Pensacola, FL, 24(3):717-725, (2005).

Description:

Populations of the estuarine fish Fundulus heteroclitus indigenous to contaminated sites exhibit heritable resistance to some of the toxic effects of early life-stage exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). This evolved tolerance provides evidence of strong selection by PCBs, and it suggests other potential genetic effects of these stressors on resident populations. Environmental contaminants have the potential to affect the genetic structure of populations and to reduce genetic diversity, but species life-history traits, particularly patterns of migration and dispersal, also influence the distribution of genetic variation among populations. Therefore, the present study was conducted to determine whether genetic diversity or genetic structure is altered in populations of F. heteroclitus indigenous to 18 sites in Massachusetts (USA) and Rhode Island (USA), representing a steep gradient of sediment PCB contamination and culminating in a Superfund site at New Bedford Harbor (NBH; MA, USA). Allele frequencies at enzymatic loci were used to assess genetic structure and diversity. Selection experiments using a highly toxic PCB congener (3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl) were conducted to determine if genetic patterns at field sites could be associated with contaminant exposures. Although allele frequencies clearly reflected a pattern of isolation by distance, the results indicated neither significant loss of genetic diversity nor alteration of allele frequencies for populations of F. heteroclitus in NBH.

Purpose/Objective:

To determine whether genetic diversity or genetic structure is altered in populations of F. heteroclitus indigenous to 18 sites in Massachusetts and Rhode Island across a steep gradient of sediment PCB contamination

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 03/01/2005
Completion Date: 03/01/2005
Record Last Revised: 08/07/2006
Record Created: 12/08/2004
Record Released: 04/02/2005
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 127900

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION

POPULATION ECOLOGY BRANCH