Biotransformation gene-environment interactions in salmon neurotoxicity
Evan Gallagher, Director
Funding from National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund program is currently supporting our investigation of the mechanisms of chemical mediated neurobehavioral injury to salmon. These impacts can occur at extremely low exposure levels, and are linked to behaviors critical to survival such as homing, feeding, and predator-prey avoidance. These studies are largely at the biochemical and molecular level and focus on the role of oxidative and conjugative enzymes in susceptibility of Pacific salmon to neurotoxic metals and pesticides. We are trying to identify key proteins targets of neurotoxic compounds in the olfactory system of salmon, and are using genomics approaches to better understand chemical-chemical interactions in salmon neurotoxicity. The ultimate goal of this project is to better understand chemical-mediated environmental neurotoxicity that occurs in wild salmon. Practical applications of our work involve the development and field application of biochemical and molecular markers of neuropathic injury to salmon.