An integrated approach in subtropical agro-ecosystems: Active biomonitoring, environmental contaminants, bioaccumulation, and multiple biomarkers in fish
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Aquatic contamination in agricultural areas is a global problem, characterized by a complex mixture of organic and inorganic pollutants whose effects on biota are unpredictable and poorly investigated. In this context, in the present study, the Neotropical fish Prochilodus lineatus was confined in situ for 120 days in two sites with different levels of anthropic impact: 1) a fish hatchery station, within the State University of Londrina (reference site - REF) and 2) an agro-ecosystem area in one of the most productive regions of southern Brazil (experimental site - EXP). We evaluated multiple biomarkers at different levels of biological organization, such as biotransformation and antioxidant enzymes, oxidative damages, DNA damages and liver histopathology. We also evaluated the occurrence of 22 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and 6 trace metals in water and sediment; and 33 current-use pesticides (CUPs) in the water; besides the presence of OCPs in the liver and metals in different tissues of the confined fish. The chemical analysis confirmed that the two environments presented different levels of contamination. We verified a distribution gradient of data in the principal component analysis (PCA), separating the REF fish to one side and the fish at the agricultural area (EXP) to the other side. In general, the biomarker responses were more altered in fish from the EXP than fish from the hatchery station; and this fish presented a greater accumulation of endosulfan (an increase of 18× compared to basal value) and showed oxidative, genetic, and histological damage. Through the Biomarkers Response Index (BRI), we found that the EXP fish demonstrated a decrease in health status compared with the REF fish during the confinement time, due to their exposure to a higher concentration of contaminants. In conclusion, the use of multiple biomarkers at different response levels is an important tool for environmental monitoring.
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