Toxins in Watercress
Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) has previously been shown to produce chemical outputs thought to be toxic to macroinvertebrate species. Exposure to these toxins can create an imbalance in invertebrate populations. It has been proposed that the reduction in macroinvertebrate communities is having a detrimental effect on fish populations.
One question that still remains largely unanswered is whether it is just the invertebrate declines that are leading to the decline of fish populations. There remains much contradiction in the literature as to whether fish populations remain stable or decline downstream of watercress beds. Early life stages of fish, especially at the fertilisation phase, are known to be highly vulnerable to contaminants in the water even when they occur at low levels.
Research at Brighton
DanioVision is being used by Dr Neil Crooks and his team at Brighton University in ecotoxicology studies. These include the effects of phenethyl isothiocyante (PEITC), released by watercress, on brown trout (Salmo trutta) and common carp (Cyprinus carpio). Exposure and trialling in the DanioVision have shown that very low levels of PEITC have affected movement and responses to stimuli. Trials are also ongoing using zebrafish to investigate the effects of metformin, statins and zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and these are showing similar results to those found with PEITC.
If you would like to know more about how DanioVision could enhance your research capabilities, please contact us.