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Project Summary/AbstractNatural polybrominated organic compounds such as hydroxylated polybrominated diphenyl ethers (OH--BDEs) and polybrominated pyrroles (PBPs) have recently emerged as chemicals of human health concern.These natural product relatives of anthropogenic halogenated persistent organic pollutants (POPs) arewidely distributed throughout the marine food web and accumulate in seafood sources consumed by humans.We and others have demonstrated that OH--BDEs such as 6--OH--BDE--47 (thyroid hormone receptor)and PBPs such as tetrabromopyrrole (ryanodine receptor) are potent toxins and thus pose a potential risk tohumans. Many fundamental questions however remain about the extent of sources for these naturalorganobromine molecules, how these chemicals enter and move through the marine food web, whetherchanges in the climate will impact their production and accumulation, and whether humans are more or lessimpacted by natural halogenated POPs versus their anthopogentic counterparts. Recent discoveries by theMoore and Allen laboratories have rigorously established the genetic and biochemical basis for the microbialsynthesis of natural OH--BDE molecules in diverse lineages of marine bacteria. However, the globaldistribution and ubiquity of these polybrominated POPs in marine biota cannot be fully explained by thesources discovered thus far, suggesting additional biogenic sources exist and are actively contributing to OH--BDE and MeO--BDE accumulation in the marine food web. This information is critical to more accuratelyidentify trophic connections and interconversions that lead to natural PBDE accumulation in marine fish andultimately, human dietary exposure risks. In this project, new genetic and biochemical evidence for thebiosynthesis and biotransformation of PBDE molecules will be established for marine macroalgae, aconspicuous but uncharacterized source of PBDE molecules in marine habitats, using transcriptome analysiscoupled with biochemical enzyme characterization. Additional microbial sources for PBDEsynthesis/transformation will be characterized by the comprehensive analysis of fish and marine-- mammalassociated microbiomes using integrated genomic and metabolomic approaches combined with experimentalmicrobiome enrichment reactors amended with PBDE molecules or biosynthetic substrates. The proposedwork will be undertaken jointly by the laboratories of Moore (biochemistry) and Allen (genomics) at SIO whohave a proven track record of collaboration and joint mentorship in these areas.

Moore, Bradley S; Allen, Eric Ellsworth
University of California - San Diego
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