Presentation Title

From Frog to Prince: The Transformation of the Sentinel Organism Rana pipiens

Advisor Information

Paul Davis

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

8-3-2013 9:30 AM

End Date

8-3-2013 9:45 AM

Abstract

Due to the agricultural practices within the Midwestern United States, the human water supply is often contaminated with various chemicals that have a significant negative impact on human health, including the herbicide atazine. Atrazine is the most commonly used herbicide in the world but is a suspected carcinogen and teratogen. In humans, atrazine exposure is associated with tumorigenesis, birth defects, menstrual problems, and low sperm counts. In amphibians, exposure to atrazine retards the ability of tadpoles to fight infections by parasites. In addition, tadpoles that are exposed to atrazine early in development exhibit malformed hearts, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tracts. Moreover, male frogs exposed to atrazine, at levels below the regulations set by the environmental protection agency, become sterile and in some cases turn into females and hermaphrodites. The central goal of this study is to develop the northern leopard frog Rana pipiens into a sentinel organism that can be used to assess atrazine contamination throughout the region. To this end, we first need to characterize biomarkers of atrazine expose in R. pipiens. However, because R. pipiens is unsequenced, lacking ample DNA, RNA and protein sequences, we sequenced the RNA from several male and female tissues, including gonad, liver, kidney and brain, and tadpoles undergoing development. Using these data, we have designed primers that will allow us to evaluate the expression of the affected genes at the transcriptional level using reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction.

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Mar 8th, 9:30 AM Mar 8th, 9:45 AM

From Frog to Prince: The Transformation of the Sentinel Organism Rana pipiens

Milo Bail Student Center Gallery Room

Due to the agricultural practices within the Midwestern United States, the human water supply is often contaminated with various chemicals that have a significant negative impact on human health, including the herbicide atazine. Atrazine is the most commonly used herbicide in the world but is a suspected carcinogen and teratogen. In humans, atrazine exposure is associated with tumorigenesis, birth defects, menstrual problems, and low sperm counts. In amphibians, exposure to atrazine retards the ability of tadpoles to fight infections by parasites. In addition, tadpoles that are exposed to atrazine early in development exhibit malformed hearts, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tracts. Moreover, male frogs exposed to atrazine, at levels below the regulations set by the environmental protection agency, become sterile and in some cases turn into females and hermaphrodites. The central goal of this study is to develop the northern leopard frog Rana pipiens into a sentinel organism that can be used to assess atrazine contamination throughout the region. To this end, we first need to characterize biomarkers of atrazine expose in R. pipiens. However, because R. pipiens is unsequenced, lacking ample DNA, RNA and protein sequences, we sequenced the RNA from several male and female tissues, including gonad, liver, kidney and brain, and tadpoles undergoing development. Using these data, we have designed primers that will allow us to evaluate the expression of the affected genes at the transcriptional level using reverse transcriptase-quantitative polymerase chain reaction.