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Special Issue "Advances in Environmental Biology"

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A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2010)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Ming Hung Wong

Croucher Institute for Environmental Sciences and Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
Website | E-Mail
Interests: restoration of contaminated lands; bioconversion of organic wastes; environmental and human health risk assessment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The impacts of human activities on the environment have been accelerated during the past decades, due to rapid population growth, urbanization and industrialization, without due regard to environmental protection. This special issue is dedicated to all aspects of environmental biology, which include review and research articles related to environmental pollution, environmental biotechnology, environmental conservation, environmental toxicology, public health and safety, environmental education, environmental restoration, etc.

In particular, major emphasis will be paid on emerging chemicals, e.g., flame retardants and pharmaceutical products which have found their way into human bodies upon their release into our environment, through bioaccumulation, biomagnification in food chains and food webs, and ending up with rather high concentrations in our food items, especially in large predatory fish such as tuna and sword fish. Novel biological and molecular techniques are essential for rapid and accurate screening and toxicity assessment; and effective bioremediation and phytoremedation techniques are also needed for treating waste materials as well as the sustainable restoration of contaminated sites.

This Special Issue will deal with review and research articles covering the general aspects as well as recent advances in various disciplines of environmental biology, which will be of interest to environmental scientists, toxicologists, microbiologists, biotechnologists, and others who are engaged in environmental and public health research and consultations.

Prof. Dr. Ming Hung Wong
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • environmental pollution
  • environmental biotechnology
  • environmental conservation
  • environmental toxicology
  • public health and safety
  • environmental education
  • environmental restoration

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Identification of Candidate Genes and Physiological Pathways Involved in Gonad Deformation in Whitefish (Coregonus spp.) from Lake Thun, Switzerland
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(7), 2706-2733; doi:10.3390/ijerph8072706
Received: 28 April 2011 / Revised: 7 June 2011 / Accepted: 15 June 2011 / Published: 30 June 2011
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (661 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In 2000, fishermen reported the appearance of deformed reproductive organs in whitefish (Coregonus spp.) from Lake Thun, Switzerland. Despite intensive investigations, the causes of these abnormalities remain unknown. Using gene expression profiling, we sought to identify candidate genes and physiological processes possibly
[...] Read more.
In 2000, fishermen reported the appearance of deformed reproductive organs in whitefish (Coregonus spp.) from Lake Thun, Switzerland. Despite intensive investigations, the causes of these abnormalities remain unknown. Using gene expression profiling, we sought to identify candidate genes and physiological processes possibly associated with the observed gonadal deformations, in order to gain insights into potential causes. Using in situ-synthesized oligonucleotide arrays, we compared the expression levels at 21,492 unique transcript probes in liver and head kidney tissue of male whitefish with deformed and normally developed gonads, respectively. The fish had been collected on spawning sites of two genetically distinct whitefish forms of Lake Thun. We contrasted the gene expression profiles of 56 individuals, i.e., 14 individuals of each phenotype and of each population. Gene-by-gene analysis revealed weak expression differences between normal and deformed fish, and only one gene, ictacalcin, was found to be up-regulated in head kidney tissue of deformed fish from both whitefish forms, However, this difference could not be confirmed with quantitative real-time qPCR. Enrichment analysis on the level of physiological processes revealed (i) the involvement of immune response genes in both tissues, particularly those linked to complement activation in the liver, (ii) proteolysis in the liver and (iii) GTPase activity and Ras protein signal transduction in the head kidney. In comparison with current literature, this gene expression pattern signals a chronic autoimmune disease in the testes. Based on the recent observations that gonad deformations are induced through feeding of zooplankton from Lake Thun we hypothesize that a xenobiotic accumulated in whitefish via the plankton triggering autoimmunity as the likely cause of gonad deformations. We propose several experimental strategies to verify or reject this hypothesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Biology)
Open AccessArticle Forage as a Primary Source of Mycotoxins in Animal Diets
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(1), 37-50; doi:10.3390/ijerph8010037
Received: 10 November 2010 / Revised: 17 December 2010 / Accepted: 24 December 2010 / Published: 28 December 2010
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (717 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The issue of moulds and, thus, contamination with mycotoxins is very topical, particularly in connexion with forages from grass stands used at the end of the growing season. Deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), fumonisins (FUM) and aflatoxins (AFL) are among the most common mycotoxins.
[...] Read more.
The issue of moulds and, thus, contamination with mycotoxins is very topical, particularly in connexion with forages from grass stands used at the end of the growing season. Deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEA), fumonisins (FUM) and aflatoxins (AFL) are among the most common mycotoxins. The aim of the paper was to determine concentrations of mycotoxins in selected grasses (Lolium perenne, Festulolium pabulare, Festulolium braunii) and their mixtures with Festuca rubra an/or Poa pratensis during the growing season as a marker of grass safety, which was assessed according to content of the aforementioned mycotoxins. During the growing season grass forage was contaminated with mycotoxins, most of all by DON and ZEA. The contents of AFL and FUM were zero or below the limit of quantification. Moreover, the level of the occurrence of mould was quantified as ergosterol content, which was higher at the specific date of cut. All results were statistically processed and significant changes were discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Biology)
Open AccessArticle Effects of Various Doses of Selenite on Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica L.)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2010, 7(10), 3804-3815; doi:10.3390/ijerph7103804
Received: 30 August 2010 / Revised: 14 September 2010 / Accepted: 2 October 2010 / Published: 22 October 2010
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (590 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of selenium (Se) on the growth, accumulation and possible mechanisms of Se transport in certain parts (roots, leaves, stamp and apex) of nettle (Urtica dioica L.) plants. Se was supplemented by one-shot
[...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of selenium (Se) on the growth, accumulation and possible mechanisms of Se transport in certain parts (roots, leaves, stamp and apex) of nettle (Urtica dioica L.) plants. Se was supplemented by one-shot and two repeated doses to the soil (2.0 and 4.0 mg Se per kg of substrate). Selenium content in roots increased linearly with dose and was significantly higher compared to other plant parts of interest. However, growth of the above-ground parts of plant as well as roots was slightly inhibited with increasing selenium concentration in comparison to the untreated plants. The content of phytochelatin2, a low molecular mass peptide containing a sulfhydryl group, correlated well with the Se content. This suggests a possible stimulation of synthesis of this plant peptide by Se. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Environmental Biology)

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