Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) represent the most common pollutants in the marine sediments. Previous investigations demonstrated short-term sublethal effects of sediments polluted with both contaminants on the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus after 2 months of exposure in mesocosms. In particular, morphological malformations observed in P. lividus embryos deriving from adults exposed to PAHs and PCBs were explained at molecular levels by de novo transcriptome assembly and real-time qPCR, leading to the identification of several differentially expressed genes involved in key physiological processes. Here, we extensively explored the genes involved in the response of the sea urchin P. lividus to PAHs and PCBs. Firstly, 25 new genes were identified and interactomic analysis revealed that they were functionally connected among them and to several genes previously defined as molecular targets of response to the two pollutants under analysis. The expression levels of these 25 genes were followed by Real Time qPCR, showing that almost all genes analyzed were affected by PAHs and PCBs. These findings represent an important further step in defining the impacts of slight concentrations of such contaminants on sea urchins and, more in general, on marine biota, increasing our knowledge of molecular targets involved in responses to environmental stressors.

PAHs and PCBs affect functionally intercorrelated genes in the sea urchin paracentrotus lividus embryos

Albarano L.;Zupo V.;Guida M.;Libralato G.;
2021

Abstract

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) represent the most common pollutants in the marine sediments. Previous investigations demonstrated short-term sublethal effects of sediments polluted with both contaminants on the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus after 2 months of exposure in mesocosms. In particular, morphological malformations observed in P. lividus embryos deriving from adults exposed to PAHs and PCBs were explained at molecular levels by de novo transcriptome assembly and real-time qPCR, leading to the identification of several differentially expressed genes involved in key physiological processes. Here, we extensively explored the genes involved in the response of the sea urchin P. lividus to PAHs and PCBs. Firstly, 25 new genes were identified and interactomic analysis revealed that they were functionally connected among them and to several genes previously defined as molecular targets of response to the two pollutants under analysis. The expression levels of these 25 genes were followed by Real Time qPCR, showing that almost all genes analyzed were affected by PAHs and PCBs. These findings represent an important further step in defining the impacts of slight concentrations of such contaminants on sea urchins and, more in general, on marine biota, increasing our knowledge of molecular targets involved in responses to environmental stressors.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/863202
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