Journal of Research in Environmental Science and Toxicology

Journal of Research in Environmental Science and Toxicology  Vol. 1(9), pp. 233-242, October 2012         
Copyright © 2012 International Research Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Fish ecogenotoxicological: an emerging science, an emerging tool for environmental monitoring and risk assessment

Akpoilih B. U.

Department of Animal Science and Fisheries, University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria

E-mail: uzeziu2@yahoo.co.uk;  Phone: +234(0)8134381645

Received 05 September, 2012; Accepted 10 October, 2012 

Abstract

Ecogenotoxicology (genetic ecotoxicology) is an approach that applies the principles and techniques of genetic toxicology to assess the potential effects of environmental pollution in the form of genotoxic agents on the health of the ecosystem. Contrary to human toxicology studies which focus on the fate of the individual, ecogenotoxicology evaluates the consequences of genotoxicants for population sizes and structure, but applies the principles of genetic toxicology in hazard and risk assessment. Genetic hazard assessment, thus, deals with changes in genetic material of organisms, either human or other natural origin. Several reviews demonstrate the presence and potency of genotoxins from a broad range of industrial and municipal effluents. There is a close association of DNA damage, mutation, and induction of various types of cancer. Fish serves as useful genetic model for the evaluation of pollution in aquatic ecosystems. Fish species from contaminated areas initiated studies in the aquatic environment and evidence is growing that environmental mutagens can reduce the reproductive success of populations. Different genotoxicity tests and their applications to environmental monitoring and assessment have been variously reported in fish. This review paper, thus, examines the use of ecogenotoxicology in environmental monitoring, the role of fish in genotoxicity testing of pollutants, genetic basis in genotoxicological assessment, cur rent methods of ecogenotoxicological hazard assessment using fish in vitro and in vivo, and their applications to environmental monitoring as well as recent advances in the field of fish ecogenotoxicology. Limitations and recommendations for further research on the use of ecogenotoxicology was also highlighted.

Keywords: Ecogenotoxicology, Environmental monitoring, Risk assessment, DNA damage, Genotoxicity tests.

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