Functional environmental genomics of a municipal landfill soil.

D. Roelofs, M.E. de Boer, V. Agamennone, P. Bouchier, J. Legler, N.M. van Straalen

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We investigated the toxicity of soil samples derived from a former municipal landfill site in the South of the Netherlands, where a bioremediation project is running aiming at reusing the site for recreation. Both an organic soil extract and the original soil sample was investigated using the ISO standardized Folsomia soil ecotoxicological testing and gene expression analysis. The 28 day survival/reproduction test revealed that the ecologically more relevant original soil sample was more toxic than the organic soil extract. Microar-ray analysis showed that the more toxic soil samples induced gene regulatory changes in twice as less genes compared to the soil extract. Consequently gene regulatory changes were highly dependent on sample type, and were to a lesser extent caused by exposure level. An important biological process shared among the two sample types was the detoxification pathway for xenobiotics (biotransformation I, II, and III) suggesting a link between compound type and observed adverse effects. Finally, we were able to retrieve a selected group of genes that show highly significant dose-dependent gene expression and thus were tightly linked with adverse effects on reproduction. Expression of four cytochrome P450 genes showed highest correlation values with reproduction, and maybe promising genetic markers for soil quality. However, a more elaborate set of environmental soil samples is needed to validate the correlation between gene expression induction and adverse phenotypic effects. © 2012 Roelofs, de Boer, Agamennone, Bouchier, Legler and van Straalen.
Original languageEnglish
Article number85
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Early online date16 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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