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Impact of selenium on the aquatic biota in the prairie ecosystems

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Title: Impact of selenium on the aquatic biota in the prairie ecosystems
Author: Wang, Feiyue; Rasmussen, Joseph; Palace, Vince; Hontela, Alice
Abstract: Selenium is an essential trace metalloid that can bioaccumulate in fish and become toxic at concentrations slightly above the homeostatic requirements. There is a concern that coal mining activities and intensive draining of agricultural lands may release selenium, making it available to aquatic biota. Our research aims to characterize selenium exposures in regions of Western Canada potentially impacted by Se and assess the effects of selenium on fish physiological status, using hormonal, biochemical and growth indices. Since Se is an essential component of glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme important for regulating oxidative balance in cells, we will also compare oxidative stress indicators in fish species that are sensitive to Se toxicity (rainbow trout) and those that are resistant (brook trout). This research will provide new data on Se exposures in the aquatic ecosystems in Western Canada, on mechanisms of Se toxicity to fish species, and help us understand the cellular characteristics that make organisms sensitive or resistant to this chemical.
Description: A6. Principal investigator: Alice Hontela
Date: 2010-04-29

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