05 Sep 2019

Seminar Title: Development of biomarker candidates for assessing possible impact of deep-sea mining on benthic ecosystems

Speaker: Mr KWAN Yick Hang, Jack (Supervisor: Prof. QIAN Peiyuan)

Date: 5 September, 2019 (Thursday)
Time: 5:00 pm – 5:50 pm
Venue: Room 4502 (lift no. 25-26), HKUST

Abstract:
In recent years, deep-sea mining activities have attracted substantial interest of maritime industries increased and also raised serious concerns of environmental safety of the deep-sea fauna. The International Seabed Authority of the United Nation has been mandated to develop the guideline for deep-sea mining activities and for environmental impact assessment of human activities on deep-sea ecosystems in the international waters. The development of optimal biomarkers for assessing the impact of deep-sea mining activities on deep-sea species becomes a crucial but very challenging requirement for environmental impact assessment. In the present study, we conducted an in situ copper exposure experiment using a deep-sea amphipod species Abyssorchomene distinctus as a model organism. We checked copper accumulation in animal body and identified and quantified the protein expression changes after 48 hours of exposure, followed by a Tandem Mass Tag (TMT)-based coupled with two-dimensional Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). We identified and annotated a total of 2937 proteins and then, based on the difference in protein expression, we analyzed the specific interactions between the proteins and copper. The differentially expressed proteins showed unique interaction with copper and had high sensitivity to indicate the copper level. We proposed some of these proteins as potential biomarker candidates for assessing environmental impact of deep-sea mining activities. This is a key step in the development of guidelines for environmental impact assessment of deep-sea mining activities, which needs to integrate data on ecotoxicological effects in deep-sea species.

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