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Biochemical biomarkers in macroalgae of the genus Gracilaria exposed to metals

Grant number: 12/00933-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2012
Effective date (End): April 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Biochemistry - Metabolism and Bioenergetics
Principal Investigator:Pio Colepicolo Neto
Grantee:Tatiana Cristina Stefani Margarido
Home Institution: Instituto de Química (IQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:10/50193-1 - Marine algae as source of metabolites of economical impact, AP.BTA.TEM

Abstract

The process of urbanization and industrialization has contributed to the alarming increase in the amount of toxic compounds present in water bodies. Among these compounds are pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and metals among others. Recently, metals have been gaining more attention due to impacts on the environment and its capacity for bioaccumulation and biomagnification. The coastal areas because of its location have major damage, mainly due to the large amount of waste deposited in this area. Algae are organisms that form the base of the food chain and have great capacity to retain metals making them less available for the species that inhabit the area. Among the algae are the seaweeds belonging to the genus Gracilaria, which has great economic importance in the production of agar, and also used some of its metabolites for use in pharmaceutical, medical and cosmetics sectors, among others. However, despite of its great economic importance, this macroalgae can be a good bioindicator of the presence of metals, and molecular effects caused by these compounds, potential biomarkers. Therefore, this project aims to verify the effects of the metals copper, cadmium and lead in macroalgae of the genus Gracilaria, and retention mechanisms and detoxification of these metals. And since these mechanisms are well described, can be considered in the future the possibility of use of seaweeds for remediation of impacted environments.