Biochemical and Physiological Biomarkers in Aquatic Environmental Research

Alaa G. M. Osman


Biomarkers are used as tools to assess biological changes that may reveal exposure of organisms to environmental chemicals. In some cases, biomarkers are able to indicate that chemicals specifically affect metabolic
pathways or physiological functions in exposed individuals. Therefore, biomarkers can be used as both diagnostic and predictive tools. More recently, the concept of “biomarkers” has gained popularity amongst environmental managers. There are many different biomarkers that occur at many different levels of organization from sub-cellular to wholeorganisms. Biomarkers at the molecular level tend to respond first, followed by responses at the cellular (biochemical and physiological), and whole-body levels. within this review, I will review the application of some biochemical and physiological biomarkers in aquatic environmental research. This review presents a synthesis of the state of the art in the
methodology of biochemical and physiological biomarkers and its contribution in aquatic environmental research. The text explores the latest knowledge and thinking on this very important approach for the assessment of environmental health, management, and conservation. The primary concern of the present review is the measurement of biomarkers in aquatic organisms under field and laboratory conditions, where effects of chemicals at different levels of biological organization can be examined.

Keywords: Biomarkers, aquatic organisms, biochemical biomarkers, physiological biomarkers

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