Parental diuron-exposure alters offspring transcriptome and fitness in Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas.Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2017 Aug; 142:51-58.EE
One of the primary challenges in ecotoxicology is to contribute to the assessment of the ecological status of ecosystems. In this study, we used Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas to explore the effects of a parental exposure to diuron, a herbicide frequently detected in marine coastal environments. The present toxicogenomic study provides evidence that exposure of oyster genitors to diuron during gametogenesis results in changes in offspring, namely, transcriptomic profile alterations, increased global DNA methylation levels and reduced growth and survival within the first year of life. Importantly, we highlighted the limitations to identify particular genes or gene expression signatures that could serve as biomarkers for parental herbicide-exposure and further for multigenerational and transgenerational effects of specific chemical stressors. By analyzing samples from two independent experiments, we demonstrated that, due to complex confounding effects with both tested solvent vehicles, diuron non-specifically affected the offspring transcriptome. These original results question the potential development of predictive genomic tools for detecting specific indirect impacts of contaminants in environmental risk assessments. However, our results indicate that chronic environmental exposure to diuron over several generations may have significant long term impacts on oyster populations with adverse health outcomes.