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The biological effects of exposure of marine organisms to current-use pesticides detected in high-latitude areas

Description

Current-use pesticides are carried through the air to arctic environments, where they are detected in the air, water, snow, sediments and organisms. Pesticides can be detected in water but generally occur in low concentrations. These pesticides are also detected in marine organisms, but current knowledge does not allow us to say whether these concentrations have adverse effects on organisms.

This research project therefore aims to determine whether current-use pesticides detected in aquatic organisms in the Arctic can have acute or sublethal adverse effects on high-latitude marine organisms. The organisms used in the tests are a marine bacterium Vibrio splendidus 7SHRW isolated from the cold waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and the microalga Nitzschia frigida, which is abundant in all arctic regions and significantly contributes to the total ice algae biomass during bloom periods. Moreover, acute and chronic toxicity experiments will be conducted to assess the impact of pesticides on cells extracted from blue mussels and harbour seals. In addition to these toxicity tests, the immunocompetence of the immune cells of blue mussels and harbour seals will be measured, thus providing valuable information on impairments to the defence mechanisms of organisms living in arctic environments.

This study will provide Fisheries and Oceans Canada with new data that will help determine whether current-use pesticides detected in arctic waters can have an effect on the organisms inhabiting these environments.

Program Name

National Contaminants Advisory Group (NCAG)

Year(s)

2015 - 2017

Ecoregion(s)

Arctic: Canadian Arctic Archipelago

Principal Investigator(s)

Jean-Pierre Gagné
Research Professor, Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski (ISMER), Université du Québec à Rimouski (Québec)

Team Member(s)

Michel Fournier, Associate Professors, Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski – Université du Québec à Rimouski (Québec)

Pauline Brousseau, Associate Professors, Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski – Université du Québec à Rimouski (Québec)

François Gagné, Associate Professors, Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski – Université du Québec à Rimouski (Québec)

Karine Lemarchand, Collaborating Research Professors, Institut des Sciences de la Mer de Rimouski – Université du Québec à Rimouski (Québec)

Michel Gosselin, Collaborating Research Professors, Institut des Sciences de la Mer de Rimouski – Université du Québec à Rimouski (Québec)

Youssouf Soubaneh, Research Professors, Department of Biology, Chemistry and Geography, Université du Québec à Rimouski (Québec)

Richard St-Louis, Research Professors, Department of Biology, Chemistry and Geography, Université du Québec à Rimouski (Québec)

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