Gene expression profiles of fathead minnows exposed to surface waters above and below a sewage treatment plant in Minnesota

Natàlia Garcia-Reyero, Ira Adelman, Li Liu, Nancy Denslow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Water treatment plants are often not effective in removing pharmaceuticals, personal care products or natural hormones from their effluents. To test the effects of these effluents on fish, we exposed male fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) for 48 h to effluents at two sites, one up-stream and the other down-stream from a water treatment plant. Gene expression profiling showed that significant changes occurred in the gonad of fish exposed below, compared to above the treatment plant and to laboratory control fish. Among the biological processes affected were the innate immune response, response to stress, control of homeostasis, control of transcription, metabolism, and cell communication. This work suggests that fish are impacted by exposures to the sewage treatment effluents and effects can be detected rapidly by gene expression profiling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-136
Number of pages3
JournalMarine Environmental Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is the result of research sponsored by the Minnesota Sea Grant College Program supported by the NOAA Office of Sea Grant, United States Department of Commerce, under Grant No. NA03OAR4170048. The US Government is authorized to reproduce and distribute reprints for government purposes, not withstanding any copyright notation that may appear hereon. This paper is journal reprint No. JR545 of the Minnesota Sea Grant College Program. Also, by a fellowship from the Spanish Ministry of Sciences and Technology (EX-2004-0986) to NGR. ND holds equity in EcoArray, a company commercializing the arrays.


  • Gene expression profiling
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Sewage treatment plants


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