Event Title

Quantification of HSP70 Expression in Mayflies: A Novel Bioindicator of Road Salt Pollution

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Amy Villamagna, Brigid O'Donnell

Location

Hartman Union Building Room 119

Presentation Type

Event

Start Date

4-28-2017 3:30 PM

End Date

4-28-2017 3:45 PM

Abstract

The expanded use of chloride salts to address snow-covered roadways has caused growing concern over environmental impacts to ecosystems, as salinization of freshwater can vastly alter benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages. We have taken a unique step toward a novel biomonitoring approach using the expression of heat shock proteins in mayfly nymphs as a proxy for emerging salt stress in NH streams. Mayflies are widely accepted bio-indicators of the integrity of freshwater systems due to their sensitivity to water chemistry changes, and heat shock proteins have proven particularly effective at assessing molecular responses to disturbance in species such as Cloeon dipterum. We have three research objectives with the goal of establishing a robust and useful metric for early identification of at-risk communities: 1) use lab-based trials to establish salt dosage-response curves of HSP70 expression, 2) investigate how salt stress is introduced and concentrated throughout the mayfly body, and 3) create snapshot profiles of NaCl-driven HSP70 expression across the state by gathering mayfly nymphs from ten NH streams from May - October 2016. As NH’s communities continue to grow and develop, this research will serve as a useful early warning tool for aquatic ecosystems at risk of disturbance from anthropogenic salt loading.

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Apr 28th, 3:30 PM Apr 28th, 3:45 PM

Quantification of HSP70 Expression in Mayflies: A Novel Bioindicator of Road Salt Pollution

Hartman Union Building Room 119

The expanded use of chloride salts to address snow-covered roadways has caused growing concern over environmental impacts to ecosystems, as salinization of freshwater can vastly alter benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages. We have taken a unique step toward a novel biomonitoring approach using the expression of heat shock proteins in mayfly nymphs as a proxy for emerging salt stress in NH streams. Mayflies are widely accepted bio-indicators of the integrity of freshwater systems due to their sensitivity to water chemistry changes, and heat shock proteins have proven particularly effective at assessing molecular responses to disturbance in species such as Cloeon dipterum. We have three research objectives with the goal of establishing a robust and useful metric for early identification of at-risk communities: 1) use lab-based trials to establish salt dosage-response curves of HSP70 expression, 2) investigate how salt stress is introduced and concentrated throughout the mayfly body, and 3) create snapshot profiles of NaCl-driven HSP70 expression across the state by gathering mayfly nymphs from ten NH streams from May - October 2016. As NH’s communities continue to grow and develop, this research will serve as a useful early warning tool for aquatic ecosystems at risk of disturbance from anthropogenic salt loading.