Development of a HyGenTox bioassay for detection of toxic potency of hydrophilic contaminants

  • 1 August, 2016
  • 7 September, 2022
  • Wageningen University, Marine Animal Ecology
  • prof. dr AJ Murk
  • dr I Dinkla

Only few of the many contaminants in water sources can be efficiently measured by current chemical methods. Especially water-soluble compounds are hard to extract and unknown compounds (e.g., metabolites and reaction products) are hard to identify. Also, analytical techniques cannot provide information about the potential toxic effects of these compounds and mixtures thereof. Bioanalytical tools, or bioassays, can quantify the toxic potency of bioactive pollutants in water samples. However, most of the existing bioassays are either very specific for one or a few compounds or are non-specific indicators for general toxic effects. Therefore, an efficient and cheap test is highly needed to assess the toxic potency of compound mixtures in water samples.
We aim to develop an invertebrate bioassay that can simultaneously identify and quantify the toxic potency of multiple compounds in a water sample without the need for extraction. This assay would be based on genetic response of a nematode (Caenorhabditis elegans) to toxic compounds. Gene expression profiles of this nematode can provide insights in the type of toxic mechanisms involved and can be translated towards the nature of the toxicants present, and the response magnitude can be related to the exposure concentration.


Antoine Karengera

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