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Cyanopeptide toxicity assessment in fish for human consumption from artificial ponds

Grant number: 20/00109-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2020
Effective date (End): December 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Food Science and Technology - Food Science
Principal Investigator:Ernani Pinto Junior
Grantee:Larissa Souza Passos
Home Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07914-8 - FoRC - Food Research Center, AP.CEPID


With the worldwide reduction of fish stocks in oceans and freshwater, the aquaculture activity is gaining more importance and prominence in the world scenario for offering quality fish. However, in freshwater environment, changes in environmental conditions caused by fish farming may modify the composition of primary producers such as cyanobacteria, which in certain situations produce metabolites that affect fish quality, causing organoleptic changes and/or toxin contamination (cyanotoxins). For these reasons, this study aims to investigate the effects of cyanobacterial metabolites on Oreochromis niloticus (Cichlidae) specimens from fish farms in the states of São Paulo and Espírito Santo. In order to perform these experiments, fish will be collected from different fish farms in network tanks of companies that cooperate with our group for the following: (i) identify the major compounds produced by cyanobacteria present in the tanks, (ii) obtain isolation of at least two of the majority compounds and (iii) toxicity tests (acute exposure 96h) with O. niloticus specimens obtained from fish farms where there are no cyanobacterial blooms. In addition, some parameters related to oxidative stress in exposed fishes involving the determination of catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase (GST) and peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) enzymes will be evaluated. By carrying out the proposed analyzes, it is expected to understand the main implications of fish exposure to natural products produced by cyanobacteria in tilapia and also the toxic potential of these substances. This study also addresses the return of this information to fish farmers and cooperation in activities to reduce the impact of fish exposure to potentially harmful cyanobacterial compounds. (AU)