Genotoxic effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons(PAHs) in two marine species: the polychaet Neries virens and dab Limanda limanda

Project Details


The marine coastal zone and estuaries are the main depositories for large amounts of anthropogenic pollutants. One of the main groups of polluants are the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Some members of this group are known mutagens and carcinogens. They can produce mutations in aquatic populations. The monitoring of the effects of these contaminants on organisms living in the sea is extremely important. This project aims at determining if the evaluation of DNA damage is a sensitive parameters for exposure to polluants. This integrated approach of ecological and genotoxic data is unique for Belgium. Identification of indicator species and genetic monitoring techniques and the development of ecogenotoxicological criteria should underpin the possibility for the contineous monitoring of the North Sea and the sustainable management of fish stocks. Two genetic techniques will be developed and evaluated in this respect : the comet assay and the micronucleus test.
Effective start/end date1/10/9630/09/98

Flemish discipline codes

  • Basic sciences
  • Biological sciences
  • Earth sciences


  • comet assay
  • cell genetics
  • fish ecology
  • micronucleus test
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons