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SSF-Svalbard Science Forum

Levels and Potential DNA damage of Organohalogenated Contaminants in blood from three Arctic Seabirds species

Tildelt: kr 35 999

Svalbard is an important study site for the effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which avian species accumulate high levels of, due to the high deposition of POPs in the Arctic environment. Together with experienced researchers, blood samples will be collected from 15-20 kittiwakes in the Krykkjefjellet colony, from 15-20 glaucous gulls on several of the island in Kongsfjorden where glaucous gulls are nesting and from 15-20 breeding common eiders on Prins Henrich Island and Storholmen. The three different species have different feeding strategies and can be placed at different trophic levels. The blood-samples will be used for chemical analysis of parent and metabolites of persistent organic pollutants and for analysis of DNA double-strand breaks (DNA DSBs). DNA DSBs will be measured by use of gel electrophoresis under neutral pH conditions. DNA DSBs are considered to be one of the most deleterious form of DNA damage due to the lack of an intact complementary strand that can be used as a template for DNA repair. It implies the complete disruption of the continuity of DNA, which on cellular level may lead to mutations, chromosomal rearrangement, cell death and carcinogenesis. These damages may be passed on to offspring and lead to detrimental effects on the population level, eventually having destabilizing effect on entire ecosystems. This study will use non- invasive ways to collect the data and will therefore not be harmful to the declining populations.


SSF-Svalbard Science Forum