Publications by year
Stentiford GD, Peeler EJ, Tyler CR, Bickley LK, Holt CC, Bass D, Turner AD, Baker-Austin C, Ellis T, Lowther JA, et al
(2022). A seafood risk tool for assessing and mitigating chemical and pathogen hazards in the aquaculture supply chain. NATURE FOOD
(2), 169-178. Author URL
Millard RS, Bickley LK, Bateman KS, Verbruggen B, Farbos A, Lange A, Moore KA, Stentiford GD, Tyler CR, van Aerle R, et al
(2022). Resistance to white spot syndrome virus in the European shore crab is associated with suppressed virion trafficking and heightened immune responses. Front Immunol
Resistance to white spot syndrome virus in the European shore crab is associated with suppressed virion trafficking and heightened immune responses.
INTRODUCTION: all decapod crustaceans are considered potentially susceptible to White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) infection, but the degree of White Spot Disease (WSD) susceptibility varies widely between species. The European shore crab Carcinus maenas can be infected with the virus for long periods of time without signs of disease. Given the high mortality rate of susceptible species, the differential susceptibility of these resistant hosts offers an opportunity to investigate mechanisms of disease resistance. METHODS: Here, the temporal transcriptional responses (mRNA and miRNA) of C. maenas following WSSV injection were analysed and compared to a previously published dataset for the highly WSSV susceptible Penaeus vannamei to identify key genes, processes and pathways contributing to increased WSD resistance. RESULTS: We show that, in contrast to P. vannamei, the transcriptional response during the first 2 days following WSSV injection in C. maenas is limited. During the later time points (7 days onwards), two groups of crabs were identified, a recalcitrant group where no replication of the virus occurred, and a group where significant viral replication occurred, with the transcriptional profiles of the latter group resembling those of WSSV-susceptible species. We identify key differences in the molecular responses of these groups to WSSV injection. DISCUSSION: We propose that increased WSD resistance in C. maenas may result from impaired WSSV endocytosis due to the inhibition of internal vesicle budding by dynamin-1, and a delay in movement to the nucleus caused by the downregulation of cytoskeletal transcripts required for WSSV cytoskeleton docking, during early stages of the infection. This response allows resistant hosts greater time to fine-tune immune responses associated with miRNA expression, apoptosis and the melanisation cascade to defend against, and clear, invading WSSV. These findings suggest that the initial stages of infection are key to resistance to WSSV in the crab and highlight possible pathways that could be targeted in farmed crustacean to enhance resistance to WSD. Abstract
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Millard RS, Bickley LK, Bateman KS, Farbos A, Minardi D, Moore K, Ross SH, Stentiford GD, Tyler CR, van Aerle R, et al
(2021). Global mRNA and miRNA Analysis Reveal Key Processes in the Initial Response to Infection with WSSV in the Pacific Whiteleg Shrimp. VIRUSES-BASEL
(6). Author URL
Millard RS, Ellis RP, Bateman KS, Bickley LK, Tyler CR, van Aerle R, Santos EM
(2021). How do abiotic environmental conditions influence shrimp susceptibility to disease? a critical analysis focussed on White Spot Disease. J Invertebr Pathol
How do abiotic environmental conditions influence shrimp susceptibility to disease? a critical analysis focussed on White Spot Disease.
White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) causes White Spot Disease (WSD) and is historically the most devastating disease in the shrimp industry. Global losses from this disease have previously exceeded $3 bn annually, having a major impact on a global industry worth US$19 bn per annum. Shrimp are cultured predominantly in enclosed ponds that are subject to considerable fluctuations in abiotic conditions and WSD outbreaks are increasingly linked to periods of extreme weather, which may cause major fluctuations in pond culture conditions. Combined with the intensity of production in these systems, the resulting suboptimal physicochemical conditions have a major bearing on the susceptibility of shrimp to infection and disease. Current knowledge indicates that pond temperature and salinity are major factors determining outbreak severity. WSSV appears to be most virulent in water temperatures between 25 and 28 °C and salinities far removed from the isoosmotic point of shrimp. Elevated temperatures (>30 °C) may protect against WSD, depending on the stage of infection, however the mechanisms mediating this effect have not been well established. Other factors relating to water quality that may play key roles in determining outbreak severity include dissolved oxygen concentration, nitrogenous compound concentration, partial pressure of carbon dioxide and pH, but data on their impacts on WSSV susceptibility in cultured shrimps is scarce. This illustrates a major research gap in our understanding of the influence of environmental conditions on disease. For example, it is not clear whether temperature manipulations can be used effectively to prevent or mitigate WSD in cultured shrimp. Therefore, developing our understanding of the impact of environmental conditions on shrimp susceptibility to WSSV may provide insight for WSD mitigation when, even after decades of research, there is no effective practical prophylaxis or treatment. Abstract
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Bickley LK, van Aerle R, Brown AR, Hargreaves A, Huby R, Cammack V, Jackson R, Santos EM, Tyler CR
(2017). Bioavailability and Kidney Responses to Diclofenac in the Fathead Minnow (Pimephales promelas). Environ Sci Technol
Bioavailability and Kidney Responses to Diclofenac in the Fathead Minnow (Pimephales promelas).
Diclofenac is one of the most widely prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs worldwide. It is frequently detected in surface waters; however, whether this pharmaceutical poses a risk to aquatic organisms is debated. Here we quantified the uptake of diclofenac by the fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) following aqueous exposure (0.2-25.0 μg L-1) for 21 days, and evaluated the tissue and biomolecular responses in the kidney. Diclofenac accumulated in a concentration- and time-dependent manner in the plasma of exposed fish. The highest plasma concentration observed (for fish exposed to 25 μg L-1 diclofenac) was within the therapeutic range for humans. There was a strong positive correlation between exposure concentration and the number of developing nephrons observed in the posterior kidney. Diclofenac was not found to modulate the expression of genes in the kidney associated with its primary mode of action in mammals (prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthases) but modulated genes associated with kidney repair and regeneration. There were no significant adverse effects following 21 days exposure to concentrations typical of surface waters. The combination of diclofenac's uptake potential, effects on kidney nephrons and relatively small safety margin for some surface waters may warrant a longer term chronic health effects analysis for diclofenac in fish. Abstract
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Fitzgerald JA, Jameson HM, Fowler VHD, Bond GL, Bickley LK, Webster TMU, Bury NR, Wilson RJ, Santos EM
(2016). Hypoxia Suppressed Copper Toxicity during Early Development in Zebrafish Embryos in a Process Mediated by the Activation of the HIF Signaling Pathway. Environ Sci Technol
Hypoxia Suppressed Copper Toxicity during Early Development in Zebrafish Embryos in a Process Mediated by the Activation of the HIF Signaling Pathway.
Hypoxia is a global and increasingly important stressor in aquatic ecosystems, with major impacts on biodiversity worldwide. Hypoxic waters are often contaminated with a wide range of chemicals but little is known about the interactions between these stressors. We investigated the effects of hypoxia on the responses of zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos to copper, a widespread aquatic contaminant. We showed that during continuous exposures copper toxicity was reduced by over 2-fold under hypoxia compared to normoxia. When exposures were conducted during 24 h windows, hypoxia reduced copper toxicity during early development and increased its toxicity in hatched larvae. To investigate the role of the hypoxia signaling pathway on the suppression of copper toxicity during early development, we stabilized the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) pathway under normoxia using a prolyl-4-hydroxylase inhibitor, dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG) and demonstrated that HIF activation results in a strong reduction in copper toxicity. We also established that the reduction in copper toxicity during early development was independent of copper uptake, while after hatching, copper uptake was increased under hypoxia, corresponding to an increase in copper toxicity. These findings change our understanding of the current and future impacts of worldwide oxygen depletion on fish communities challenged by anthropogenic toxicants. Abstract
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Verbruggen B, Bickley LK, van Aerle R, Bateman KS, Stentiford GD, Santos EM, Tyler CR
(2016). Molecular Mechanisms of White Spot Syndrome Virus Infection and Perspectives on Treatments. Viruses
Molecular Mechanisms of White Spot Syndrome Virus Infection and Perspectives on Treatments.
Since its emergence in the 1990s, White Spot Disease (WSD) has had major economic and societal impact in the crustacean aquaculture sector. Over the years shrimp farming alone has experienced billion dollar losses through WSD. The disease is caused by the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV), a large dsDNA virus and the only member of the Nimaviridae family. Susceptibility to WSSV in a wide range of crustacean hosts makes it a major risk factor in the translocation of live animals and in commodity products. Currently there are no effective treatments for this disease. Understanding the molecular basis of disease processes has contributed significantly to the treatment of many human and animal pathogens, and with a similar aim considerable efforts have been directed towards understanding host-pathogen molecular interactions for WSD. Work on the molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis in aquatic crustaceans has been restricted by a lack of sequenced and annotated genomes for host species. Nevertheless, some of the key host-pathogen interactions have been established: between viral envelope proteins and host cell receptors at initiation of infection, involvement of various immune system pathways in response to WSSV, and the roles of various host and virus miRNAs in mitigation or progression of disease. Despite these advances, many fundamental knowledge gaps remain; for example, the roles of the majority of WSSV proteins are still unknown. In this review we assess current knowledge of how WSSV infects and replicates in its host, and critique strategies for WSD treatment. Abstract
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Verbruggen B, Bickley LK, Santos EM, Tyler CR, Stentiford GD, Bateman KS, van Aerle R
(2015). De novo assembly of the Carcinus maenas transcriptome and characterization of innate immune system pathways. BMC Genomics
De novo assembly of the Carcinus maenas transcriptome and characterization of innate immune system pathways.
BACKGROUND: the European shore crab, Carcinus maenas, is used widely in biomonitoring, ecotoxicology and for studies into host-pathogen interactions. It is also an important invasive species in numerous global locations. However, the genomic resources for this organism are still sparse, limiting research progress in these fields. To address this resource shortfall we produced a C. maenas transcriptome, enabled by the progress in next-generation sequencing technologies, and applied this to assemble information on the innate immune system in this species. RESULTS: We isolated and pooled RNA for twelve different tissues and organs from C. maenas individuals and sequenced the RNA using next generation sequencing on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. After de novo assembly a transcriptome was generated encompassing 212,427 transcripts (153,699 loci). The transcripts were filtered, annotated and characterised using a variety of tools (including BLAST, MEGAN and RSEM) and databases (including NCBI, Gene Ontology and KEGG). There were differential patterns of expression for between 1,223 and 2,741 transcripts across tissues and organs with over-represented Gene Ontology terms relating to their specific function. Based on sequence homology to immune system components in other organisms, we show both the presence of transcripts for a series of known pathogen recognition receptors and response proteins that form part of the innate immune system, and transcripts representing the RNAi, Toll-like receptor signalling, IMD and JAK/STAT pathways. CONCLUSIONS: We have produced an assembled transcriptome for C. maenas that provides a significant molecular resource for wide ranging studies in this species. Analysis of the transcriptome has revealed the presence of a series of known targets and functional pathways that form part of their innate immune system and illustrate tissue specific differences in their expression patterns. Abstract
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Hamilton PB, Lange A, Nicol E, Bickley LK, De-Bastos ESR, Jobling S, Tyler CR
(2015). Effects of Exposure to WwTW Effluents over Two Generations on Sexual Development and Breeding in Roach Rutilus rutilus. Environ Sci Technol
Effects of Exposure to WwTW Effluents over Two Generations on Sexual Development and Breeding in Roach Rutilus rutilus.
Exposure to environmental estrogens in wastewater treatment works (WwTW) effluents induces feminized responses in male fish, including the development of eggs in male testes. However, the impacts on the offspring of exposed fish are not well understood. In this study, we examined whether roach (Rutilus rutilus) from mothers that had been exposed to an undiluted WwTW effluent from early life to sexual maturity had altered susceptibility to gonadal feminization and an impaired capacity to reproduce. For males from both WwTW effluent exposed mothers and dilution water exposed mothers, effluent exposure for up to 3 years and 9 months induced feminized male gonads, although the intersex condition was relatively mild. There was no difference in the severity of gonadal feminization in roach derived from either WwTW effluent exposed or dilution water exposed mothers. Furthermore, a breeding study revealed that roach with effluent-exposed mothers reproduced with an equal success as roach with mothers exposed to clean water. Roach exposed to the effluent for 3 years in this study were able to reproduce successfully. Our findings provide no evidence for impacts of WwTW effluent exposure on reproduction or gonadal disruption in roach down the female germ line and add to existing evidence that male roach with a mild intersex condition are able to breed competitively. Abstract
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Bickley LK, Brown AR, Hosken DJ, Hamilton PB, Le Page G, Paull GC, Owen SF, Tyler CR
(2013). Interactive effects of inbreeding and endocrine disruption on reproduction in a model laboratory fish. Evolutionary Applications
Interactive effects of inbreeding and endocrine disruption on reproduction in a model laboratory fish
Inbreeding depression is expected to be more severe in stressful environments. However, the extent to which inbreeding affects the vulnerability of populations to environmental stressors, such as chemical exposure, remains unresolved. Here we report on the combined impacts of inbreeding and exposure to an endocrine disrupting chemical (the fungicide clotrimazole) on zebrafish (Danio rerio). We show that whilst inbreeding can negatively affect reproductive traits, not all traits are affected equally. Inbreeding depression frequently only became apparent when fish were additionally stressed by chemical exposure. Embryo viability was significantly reduced in inbred exposed fish and there was a tendency for inbred males to sire fewer offspring when in direct competition with outbred individuals. Levels of plasma 11-ketotestosterone, a key male sex hormone, showed substantial inbreeding depression that was unaffected by addition of the fungicide. In contrast, there was no effect of inbreeding or clotrimazole exposure on egg production. Overall, our data provide evidence that stress may amplify the effects of inbreeding on key reproductive traits, particularly those associated with male fitness. This may have important implications when considering the consequences of exposure to chemical pollutants on the fitness of wild populations. Journal compilation © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd62 February 2013 10.1111/j.1752-4571.2012.00288.x Original Article Original Articles © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. Abstract
Brown AR, Bickley LK, Ryan TA, Paull GC, Hamilton PB, Owen SF, Sharpe AD, Tyler CR
(2012). Differences in sexual development in inbred and outbred zebrafish (Danio rerio) and implications for chemical testing. Aquat Toxicol
Differences in sexual development in inbred and outbred zebrafish (Danio rerio) and implications for chemical testing.
Outbred laboratory animal strains used in ecotoxicology are intended to represent wild populations. However, breeding history may vary considerably between strains, driving differences in genetic variation and phenotypes used for assessing effects of chemical exposure. We compared a range of phenotypic endpoints in zebrafish from four different "breeding treatments" comprising a Wild Indian Karyotype (WIK) zebrafish strain and a WIK/Wild strain with three levels of inbreeding (F(IT)=n, n+0.25, n+0.375) in a new Fish Sexual Development Test (FSDT). There were no differences between treatments in terms of egg viability, hatch success or fry survival. However, compared with WIKs, WIK/Wild hybrids were significantly larger in size, with more advanced gonadal (germ cell) development at the end of the test (63 days post fertilisation). Increasing the levels of inbreeding in the related WIK/Wild lines did not affect body size, but there was a significant male-bias (72%) in the most inbred line (F(IT)=n+0.375). Conversely, in the reference WIK strain there was a significant female-bias in the population (80% females). Overall, our results support the use of outbred zebrafish strains in the FSDT, where one of the core endpoints is sex ratio. Despite increased variance (and reduced statistical power) for some endpoints, WIK/Wild outbreds (F(IT)=n) met all acceptance criteria for controls in this test, whereas WIKs failed to comply with tolerance limits for sex ratio (30-70% females). Sexual development was also more advanced in WIK/Wild outbreds (cf. WIKs), providing greater scope for detection of developmental reproductive toxicity following chemical exposure. Abstract
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Brown AR, Bickley LK, Le Page G, Hosken DJ, Paull GC, Hamilton PB, Owen SF, Robinson J, Sharpe AD, Tyler CR, et al
(2011). Are toxicological responses in laboratory (inbred) zebrafish representative of those in outbred (wild) populations? - a case study with an endocrine disrupting chemical. Environ Sci Technol
Are toxicological responses in laboratory (inbred) zebrafish representative of those in outbred (wild) populations? - a case study with an endocrine disrupting chemical.
Laboratory animals tend to be more inbred and less genetically diverse than wild populations, and thus may differ in their susceptibility to chemical stressors. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the responses of related inbred (theoretical inbreeding F(IT) = n + 0.25) and outbred (F(IT) = n) zebrafish (Danio rerio) WIK/Wild family lines to an endocrine disrupting chemical, clotrimazole. Exposure of inbred and outbred zebrafish to 2.9 μg clotrimazole/L had no effect on survival, growth, or gonadal development. Exposure of both lines to 43.7 μg clotrimazole/L led to male-biased sex ratios compared with controls (87% versus 55% and 92% vs 64%, for inbred and outbred males, respectively), advanced germ cell development, and reduced plasma 11-ketotestosterone concentrations in males. However, outbred males (but not inbred males) developed testis that were more than twice the weight of controls, which corresponded with a proliferation of Leydig cells and maintenance of the expression (rather than down-regulation occurring in inbreds) of gonadal aromatase (cyp19a1a) and insulin-like growth factor (igf1). Our results illustrate that the effects of an endocrine disrupting chemical (clotrimazole) on some end points (here testis development) can differ between inbred and outbred zebrafish. This highlights the need for reporting pedigree/genetic information and consistency in the responses of laboratory animals (e.g. by using model compounds as positive controls). Abstract
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Tyler CR, Filby AL, Bickley LK, Cumming RI, Gibson R, Labadie P, Katsu Y, Liney KE, Shears JA, Silva-Castro V, et al
(2009). Environmental health impacts of equine estrogens derived from hormone replacement therapy. Environ Sci Technol
Environmental health impacts of equine estrogens derived from hormone replacement therapy.
Many factors have been considered in evaluations of the risk-benefit balance of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), used for treating menopausal symptoms in women, but not its potential risks for the environment We investigated the possible environmental health implications of conjugated equine estrogens (CEEs), the most common components of HRT, including their discharge into the environment, their uptake, potency, and ability to induce biological effects in wildlife. Influents and effluents from four U.K. sewage treatment works (STWs), and bile of effluent-exposed fish, were screened for six equine estrogens. In vitro estrogen receptor (ER) activation assays were applied in humans and fish to compare their potencies, followed by in vivo exposures of fish to equine estrogens and evaluation of bioaccumulation, estrogenic responses, and ER gene expression. The equine estrogen equilenin (Eqn), and its metabolite 17beta-dihydroequilenin (17beta-Eqn), were detected by tandem GC-MSMS in all STW influent samples and 83% of STW effluent samples analyzed, respectively, at low concentrations (0.07-2.6 ng/L) and were taken-up into effluent-exposed fish. As occurs in humans, these estrogens bound to and activated the fish ERs, with potencies at ERalpha 2.4-3490% of thatfor 17beta-estradiol. Exposure of fish for 21 days to Eqn and 17beta-Eqn induced estrogenic responses including hepatic growth and vitellogenin production at concentrations as low as 0.6-4.2 ng/L. Associated with these effects were inductions of hepatic ERalpha and ERbeta1 gene expression, suggesting ER-mediated mechanism(s) of action. These data provide evidence for the discharge of equine estrogens from HRT into the aquatic environment and highlight a strong likelihood that these compounds contribute to feminization in exposed wildlife. Abstract
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Bickley LK, Lange A, Winter MJ, Tyler CR
(2009). Evaluation of a carp primary hepatocyte culture system for screening chemicals for oestrogenic activity. Aquat Toxicol
Evaluation of a carp primary hepatocyte culture system for screening chemicals for oestrogenic activity.
The presence of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the environment has driven the development of screening and testing assays to both identify chemicals with hormonal activity and evaluate their potential to cause adverse effects. As the number of animals used for research and regulatory purposes rises, and set against a desire to reduce animal testing, there is increased emphasis on the development and application of in vitro techniques to evaluate chemical risks to the environment. Induction of vitellogenin (VTG) in isolated fish liver cells has been used successfully to identify a wide range of EDCs, including both natural and synthetic oestrogens and a variety of other xenoestrogens. However, the vitellogenic response reported for hepatocytes in culture has been shown to vary widely, making comparisons between studies difficult. The work presented in this paper explored the variability of the vitellogenic response in primary cultures of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) hepatocytes following exposure to the model oestrogenic compound, 17beta-oestradiol (E2). As expected, variability in the vitellogenic response was observed, both in terms of the sensitivity and magnitude of VTG induction, for hepatocytes isolated from different fish. An apparent difference was observed in the response of isolated hepatocytes based on the sex of the donor fish; maximum levels of E2-stimulated VTG synthesis in hepatocytes derived from females appeared higher (1962 ng mL(-1)+/-487 [n=9] compared with 1194 ng mL(-1)+/-223 for hepatocytes from males [n=9]) and EC(50) values lower (1.61+/-0.4 microM E2 for females and 2.12+/-0.2 microM E2 for males). However, these differences were not statistically significant, likely in part due to the variation observed in the vitellogenic response. In particular, hepatocytes derived from female fish showed more variation than their male counterparts (the co-efficient of variation for females was 77% compared to 28% for males). Despite the variation observed in the vitellogenic response between different cultures, data from the different donor fish could be compared by standardising responses relative to the maximum VTG induction in each culture following exposure to E2. Adopting this approach in the future will allow for data from different hepatocyte cultures and from donor fish of different sexes, age and stage of maturity to be compared with greater consistency. Measurement of vtg mRNA expression was relatively more sensitive to the oestrogenic effects of E2 exposure than measurement of VTG protein (the LOEC at the transcriptome level was 10-fold lower [0.01 microM E2] than at the protein level [0.1 microM E2]) and changes in vtg mRNA expression showed less variation between individual hepatocyte isolations. Measurement of vtg mRNA in the hepatocyte culture system therefore may offer the most sensitive and consistent option for the screening of chemicals with oestrogenic activity in fish primary hepatocyte cultures. Abstract
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Brown AR, Hosken DJ, Balloux F, Bickley LK, LePage G, Owen SF, Hetheridge MJ, Tyler CR
(2009). Genetic variation, inbreeding and chemical exposure--combined effects in wildlife and critical considerations for ecotoxicology. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci
Genetic variation, inbreeding and chemical exposure--combined effects in wildlife and critical considerations for ecotoxicology.
Exposure to environmental chemicals can have negative consequences for wildlife and even cause localized population extinctions. Resistance to chemical stress, however, can evolve and the mechanisms include desensitized target sites, reduced chemical uptake and increased metabolic detoxification and sequestration. Chemical resistance in wildlife populations can also arise independently of exposure and may be spread by gene flow between populations. Inbreeding-matings between closely related individuals-can have negative fitness consequences for natural populations, and there is evidence of inbreeding depression in many wildlife populations. In some cases, reduced fitness in inbred populations has been shown to be exacerbated under chemical stress. In chemical testing, both inbred and outbred laboratory animals are used and for human safety assessments, iso-genic strains (virtual clones) of mice and rats are often employed that reduce response variation, the number of animals used and associated costs. In contrast, for environmental risk assessment, strains of animals are often used that have been selectively bred to maintain heterozygosity, with the assumption that they are better able to predict adverse effects in wild, genetically variable, animals. This may not necessarily be the case however, as one outbred strain may not be representative of another or of a wild population. In this paper, we critically discuss relationships between genetic variation, inbreeding and chemical effects with the intention of seeking to support more effective chemical testing for the protection of wildlife. Abstract
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Bickley L, Lange A, Tyler C, Winter M
(2007). Fish hepatocyte cultures as an alternative to in vivo tests for screening oestrogen receptor active chemicals. COMPARATIVE BIOCHEMISTRY AND PHYSIOLOGY A-MOLECULAR & INTEGRATIVE PHYSIOLOGY
(4), S72-S72. Author URL