Approved Abstracts

Biochemical and molecular biomarkers in Manx shearwater, Puffinus puffinus, collected along the Brazilian coast



Author(s): Lima, D.; Righetti, B.P.H.; Mattos, J.J.; Piazza, C.E.; Lanzarin, L.S.; Rodrigues, L.M.; Lourenço, R.A.; Luchmann, K.H.; Bainy, A.C.D.;
Presenter: Daina de Lima

The Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) are medium-size seabirds (350 - 400 g) which belong to the order Procellariiformes that breed along the eastern coast of North America and western Europe. In the winter season in the northern hemisphere, P. puffinus migrate towards the South Atlantic to forage, being the Brazilian coast their main destination. The P. puffinus diet consists mainly of cephalopods and fish. In addition, plastic debris has recently been found in the digestive tract of these animals, suggesting the Manx shearwater as a sentinel species for the ocean’s health. In this context, the goal of this work was to evaluate possible relationships among sex, age, presence of oil in feathers, body score, levels of organic compounds (total Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, PAH; total Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT); total Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB); total Drins; Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and Mirex) and the biomarker levels quantified in liver of P. puffinus. The samples were obtained during necropsy of stranded Manx shearwater (n = 114) collected during the sampling efforts of the Projeto de Monitoramento de Praias da Bacia de Santos – PMP-BS (in English, “Beach Monitoring Project of Santos Basin”), carried out by PETROBRAS to satisfy environmental constraint of the federal environmental licensing of PETROBRAS’ activities of production and outflow of oil and natural gas in Santos Basin, conducted by IBAMA. The PMP-BS’ objective is to assess the possible impacts of oil and natural gas production and outflow activities on birds, turtles and marine mammals, through monitoring of beaches and veterinary care for live animals and necropsy of animals found dead. The PMP-BS is carried out from Laguna (Santa Catarina state) to Saquarema (Rio de Janeiro state), being divided into 15 sections. No significant differences were observed among the biomarker responses and sex and the levels of HPA, PCB, DDT and Mirex quantified in the liver of P. puffinus. The results of univariate analysis and pair-wise correlation showed a negative relationship between the levels of HCB and the levels of CYP1A protein and CYP1A and UGT1 transcript levels, suggesting greater biotransformation capacity which is reflected by the lower HCB levels. GST activity and the levels of Drins showed a positive correlation, suggesting the participation of phase II enzymes in the biotransformation of these pesticides. A total of eight specimens showed oil derivate of different sources on the feathers, and higher EROD activity than non-oiled ones, indicating the activation of phase I enzymes the biotransformation system aiming their cellular excretion. Regarding body condition, cachectic birds presented increased levels of CYP1A and transcript levels of HSP70, which may indicate greater bioavailability of surrounding contaminants, and therefore, activation of the biotransformation and cell protection system. Juvenile specimens of P. puffinus showed higher levels of CYP1A compared to adults, which suggests ontogenetic variation. The changes observed in the phase I and II biotransformation system in the animals exposed to xenobiotic such as Drins and oils highlight P. puffinus as an important sentinel for monitoring environmental contamination.
Supported by PETROBRAS


Keywords: Puffinus puffinus; Biomarker; Seabirds

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