Aquatic Pollution and Ecotoxicology Research

Food and Envirnomental Research
Food and Envirnomental Research
Food and Envirnomental Research
Food and Envirnomental Research
Food and Envirnomental Research
Investigation Group

Research Projects

Water resources are suffering an increasing deterioration due to population growth, the expansion of the agricultural frontier, the intensive rearing of animals and the development of numerous industries. Aquatic biota, including that which is consumed as food, is affected by these activities.

Our mail goal is to assess the impact of human activities on environmental compartments of the water system, including abiotic components (water, sediments and riverside soils) and the organisms that inhabit it.

For this purpose, we study chemical and biochemical markers that allow us to detect different types of pollution in the study area, predict the effect that such pollution can have on those organisms disrupting their health, and identify areas of food provision with different degrees of contamination.

Sources of organic pollution in rivers: identification by evaluation of chemical markers

The detection of key chemicals (chemical markers) to differentiate various sources of pollutants in waterbodies is a newly developed area of great importance for the management of water resources. Depending on the sample and the analyte to be studied, we apply different extraction techniques (for liquid, semisolid or solid samples) and measurement methods (LC or GC coupled to UV, fluorescence, Mass, Electron capture detection, among others) for identification, quantification and evaluation of environmental distribution of pesticides (herbicides, insecticides and fungicides), petroleum products, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, other pollutants such as emerging (drugs, personal care products, natural hormones, etc.) and their metabolites.

Native organisms as bioindicators of pollution in rivers

Biota exposed to an environmental contaminant may incorporate, metabolise, accumulate and/or eliminate it. This pollutant can also generate toxic effects on the exposed organism, from molecular level to individual level. One of our challenges is to study different biological responses, known and unknown, to be used as biomarkers of pollution in the exposed local biota. For this purpose, we use classical biochemical tools (gene expression, enzyme activity, levels of oxidized lipid, proteins and nucleic acids) validated in the bioindicator of interest. In this way, and working jointly with research groups from other scientific disciplines, we can elucidate mechanisms and levels of toxic action as well as pharmacokinetics of compounds on native species (plants, invertebrates and fish) present in our study area, including those that are edible.


Amé, M.V., Baroni, M. V., Galanti, L.N., Bocco, J.L., Wunderlin, D.A., 2009. Effects of microcystin-LR on the expression of P-glycoprotein in Jenynsia multidentata. Chemosphere 74, 1179–1186.

Amé, M.V., Galanti, L.N., Menone, M.L., Gerpe, M.S., Moreno, V.J., Wunderlin, D.A., 2010. Microcystin-LR, -RR, -YR and -LA in water samples and fishes from a shallow lake in Argentina. Harmful Algae 9, 66–73.

Bertrand, L., Monferrán, M.V., Métais, I., Mouneyrac, C., Amé, M.V., 2015. MTs in Palaemonetes argentinus as potential biomarkers of zinc contamination in freshwaters. Ecol. Indic. 48, 533–541. doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.09.019

Bonansea, R.I., Amé, M.V., Wunderlin, D.A., 2013. Determination of priority pesticides in water samples combining SPE and SPME coupled to GC-MS. A case study: Suquía River basin (Argentina). Chemosphere 90, 1860–1869.

Contardo-Jara, V., Galanti, L.N., Amé, M. V., Monferrán, M. V., Wunderlin, D.A., Wiegand, C., 2009. Biotransformation and antioxidant enzymes of Limnoperna fortunei detect site impact in watercourses of Córdoba, Argentina. Ecotoxicol. Environ. Saf. 72, 1871–1880.

Galanti, L.N., Amé, M.V., Wunderlin, D.A., 2013. Accumulation and detoxification dynamic of cyanotoxins in the freshwater shrimp Palaemonetes argentinus. Harmful Algae 27, 88–97.

Griboff, J., Morales, D., Bertrand, L., Bonansea, R.I., Monferrán, M.V., Asis, R., Wunderlin, D.A., Amé, M.V., 2014. Oxidative stress response induced by atrazine in Palaemonetes argentinus: the protective effect of vitamin E. Ecotoxicol. Environ. Saf. 108, 1–8. doi:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2014.06.025

Guyón, N.F., Bistoni, M. a., Wundnderlin, D.., Amé, M.V., 2012. Inhibition of the brain cytochrome P450 aromatase isoform expression in Jenynsia multidentata reflects changes in water quality. J. Brazilian Soc. Ecotoxicol. 7, 97–104. doi:10.5132/jbse.2012.01.014

Guyón, N.F., Roggio, M. a, Amé, M. V, Hued, A.C., Valdés, M.E., Giojalas, L.C., Wunderlin, D. a, Bistoni, M. a, 2012. Impairments in aromatase expression, reproductive behavior, and sperm quality of male fish exposed to 17β-estradiol. Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 31, 935–40. doi:10.1002/etc.1790

Maggioni, T., Hued, A.C., Monferrán, M.V., Bonansea, R.I., Galanti, L.N., Amé, M.V., 2012. Bioindicators and biomarkers of environmental pollution in the middle-lower basin of the suquía river (córdoba, argentina). Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 63, 337–353.

Merlo, C., Abril, A., Amé, M. V., Argüello, G.A., Carreras, H.A., Chiappero, M.S., Hued, A.C., Wannaz, E., Galanti, L.N., Monferrán, M. V., González, C.M., Solís, V.M., 2011. Integral assessment of pollution in the Suquía River (Córdoba, Argentina) as a contribution to lotic ecosystem restoration programs. Sci. Total Environ. 409, 5034–5045.

Merlo, C., Reyna, L., Abril, A., Amé, M.V., Genti-Raimondi, S., 2014. Environmental factors associated with heterotrophic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in water, sediment, and riparian soil of Suquía River. Limnol. - Ecol. Manag. Inl. Waters 48, 71–79. doi:10.1016/j.limno.2014.06.004

Monferrán, M.V., Galanti, L.N., Bonansea, R.I., Amé, M.V., Wunderlin, D.A., 2011. Integrated survey of water pollution in the Suquía River basin (Córdoba, Argentina). J. Environ. Monit. 13, 398–409.

Monserrat, J.M., Garcia, M.L., Ventura-Lima, J., González, M., Ballesteros, M.L., Miglioranza, K.S.B., Amé, M. V, Wunderlin, D.A., 2014. Antioxidant, phase II and III responses induced by lipoic acid in the fish Jenynsia multidentata (Anablapidae) and its influence on endolsulfan accumulation and toxicity. Pestic. Biochem. Physiol. 108, 8–15. doi:10.1016/j.pestbp.2013.10.009

Pérez, D.J., Lukaszewicz, G., Menone, M.L., V Amé, M., Camadro, E.L., 2014. Genetic and biochemical biomarkers in the macrophyte Bidens laevis L. exposed to a commercial formulation of endosulfan. Environ. Toxicol. 29, 1063–71. doi:10.1002/tox.21836

Rautenberg, G.E., Amé, M.V., Monferrán, M.V., Bonansea, R.I., Hued, A.C., 2015. A multi-level approach using Gambusia affinis as a bioindicator of environmental pollution in the middle-lower basin of Suquía River. Ecol. Indic. 48, 706–720. doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2014.09.025

Roggio, M. a, Guyón, N.F., Hued,  a C., Amé, M. V, Valdés, M.E., Giojalas, L.C., Wunderlin, D. a, Bistoni, M. a, 2014. Effects of the synthetic estrogen 17α-ethinylestradiol on aromatase expression, reproductive behavior and sperm quality in the fish Jenynsia multidentata. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 92, 579–84. doi:10.1007/s00128-013-1185-2

Ruiz, M., Galanti, L., Ruibal, A.L., Rodriguez, M.I., Wunderlin, D.A., Amé, M.V., 2013. First Report of Microcystins and Anatoxin-a Co-occurrence in San Roque Reservoir (Córdoba, Argentina). Water, Air, Soil Pollut. 224, 1593. doi:10.1007/s11270-013-1593-2

Valdés, M.E., Amé, M.V., Bistoni, M.D.L.A., Wunderlin, D.A., 2014. Occurrence and bioaccumulation of pharmaceuticals in a fish species inhabiting the Suquía River basin (Córdoba, Argentina). Sci. Total Environ. 472, 389–96. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.10.124