Global transcriptomic profiling demonstrates induction of oxidative stress and of compensatory cellular stress responses in brown trout exposed to glyphosate and Roundup.
Uren Webster, TM
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
BackgroundGlyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup formulations, is the most widely used herbicide worldwide, and as a result contaminates surface waters and has been detected in food residues, drinking water and human urine, raising concerns for potential environmental and human health impacts. Research has shown that glyphosate and Roundup can induce a broad range of biological effects in exposed organisms, particularly via generation of oxidative stress. However, there has been no comprehensive investigation of the global molecular mechanisms of toxicity of glyphosate and Roundup for any species. We aimed to characterise and compare the global mechanisms of toxicity of glyphosate and Roundup in the liver of brown trout (Salmo trutta), an ecologically and economically important vertebrate species, using RNA-seq on an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. To do this, we exposed juvenile female brown trout to 0, 0.01, 0.5 and 10 mg/L of glyphosate and Roundup (glyphosate acid equivalent) for 14 days, and sequenced 6 replicate liver samples from each treatment.ResultsWe assembled the brown trout transcriptome using an optimised de novo approach, and subsequent differential expression analysis identified a total of 1020 differentially-regulated transcripts across all treatments. These included transcripts encoding components of the antioxidant system, a number of stress-response proteins and pro-apoptotic signalling molecules. Functional analysis also revealed over-representation of pathways involved in regulating of cell-proliferation and turnover, and up-regulation of energy metabolism and other metabolic processes.ConclusionsThese transcriptional changes are consistent with generation of oxidative stress and the widespread induction of compensatory cellular stress response pathways. The mechanisms of toxicity identified were similar across both glyphosate and Roundup treatments, including for environmentally relevant concentrations. The significant alterations in transcript expression observed at the lowest concentrations tested raises concerns for the potential toxicity of this herbicide to fish populations inhabiting contaminated rivers.
Salmon & Trout Association
Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Award
notes: PMCID: PMC4318436
Copyright © 2015 Uren Webster and Santos; licensee BioMed Central.
Vol. 16 (1), article 32