CORDIS - EU research results
Content archived on 2024-04-19

Biological markers of environmental contamination in marine ecosystems


- Development of a better knowledge about biological mechanisms developed by marine organisms in the coastal environment under the effects of contaminants by in vitro and in situ experiments.
- Investigation of the relationship between biochemical markers measured in marine organisms and chemical pollutants (aromatic compounds, polychlorobiphenyls, pesticides) determined in the marine environment (sediment, waters, biota).
- Characterization of the criteria and physiological/biochemical/cellular parameters for an efficient coastal contamination biomonitoring programme based on biomarkers.

Biological markers are measurements at the molecular, biochemical or cellular level in either wild populations from contaminated habitats or in organisms experimentally exposed to pollutants that indicate the magnitude of the organism's response to the contaminants.

Biomarkers of exposure (MFO systems, Acetylcholinesterase activity), biomarkers of pollutant effects (DNA adducts, DNA damages) and non-specific toxicity tests (immune response, phagocystis, reproduction parameters, Mutatox), will be studied in various marine/estuarine organisms (mussels, fish, marine plants, sea stars, sea urchins, crayfish). In addition, chemical measurements of organic pollutants associated to body burden (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PCE, pesticides) will be measured in sediments, waters and organisms to investigate relationships between chemical concentrations and biological effects.

Laboratory experiments will be performed to establish dose-dependent relationships between exposure, biomarker responses and toxic effects in sentinel species. A number of field sites (Western Scheldt estuary, Elbe estuary (North Sea), Arcachon Bay (Atlantic Ocean), Cannes Bay, Costa Dorada, Napoli Bay (Mediterranean Sea) have been selected to test the power of the biomarkers to identify the contribution of different levels and character of exposure.

Call for proposal

Data not available


Université de Bordeaux I
EU contribution
No data
351 cours de la Libération
33405 Talence

See on map

Total cost
No data

Participants (6)