The long amplicon quantitative PCR for DNA damage assay as a sensitive method of assessing DNA damage in the environmental model, Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus).
DNA damage is an important mechanism of toxicity for a variety of pollutants, and therefore, is often used as an indicator of pollutant effects in ecotoxicological studies. Here, we adapted a PCR-based assay for nuclear and mitochondrial DNA damage for use in an important environmental model, the Atlantic killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus). We refer to this assay as the long amplicon quantitative PCR (LA-QPCR) assay. To validate this method in killifish, DNA damage was measured in liver, brain, and muscle of fish dosed with 10 mg/kg benzo[a]pyrene. This exposure caused 0.4-0.8 lesions/10 kb. We also measured DNA damage in liver and muscle tissues from killifish inhabiting a Superfund site, confirming the utility of this method for biomonitoring. In both cases, damage levels were comparable in nuclear DNA (nDNA) and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Since extensive nDNA sequence data are not readily available for many environmentally relevant species, but mitochondrial genomes are frequently fully sequenced, this assay can be adapted to examine mtDNA damage in virtually any species with little development. Therefore, we argue that this assay will be a valuable tool in assessing DNA damage in ecotoxicological studies.
Jung, D; Cho, Y; Meyer, JN; Di Giulio, RT
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