EPHEMARE - Ecotoxicological effects of microplastics in marine ecosystems

>> EPHEMARE E-Newsletter Issue 1 (December 2016)

Project budget: € 4 M
EC contribution: € 3 M
Partners: 16
Start date: 31 December 2015
Duration: 36 months

Project website:http://www.jpi-oceans.eu/ephemare

The EPHEMARE multidisciplinary consortium will allow identification of operational biomarkers with potential for microplastics detection in the environment, as well as omics approaches to elucidate molecular pathways causing biological effects. The composition and capacities of the partnership allow in-depth studies on fundamental mechanisms underlying these effects across the main phyla of marine organisms from bacteria to fish covering most of the trophic levels. In addition to experimental exposures, field validation studies will be performed in four areas representative of coastal ecosystems submitted to different degrees of anthropogenic pressure, thus linking the ecotoxicological findings from laboratory studies to the environmental scale. The communication and connection with private and public stakeholders is one of the priorities of EPHEMARE in order to facilitate public awareness, pre-normative research, and implementation of European Directives.

UALG tasks:
Assess the biological effects of microplastics in Scrobicularia plana and other bivalves using a biomarker and a proteomic approach. Biomarkers of oxidative stress, neurotoxicity, genotoxicity and endocrine disruption will be assessed in different tissues following microplastics exposure. A proteomic approach will be used to assess changes in protein expression signatures.
The CIMA researchers involved in EPHEMARE are Maria João Bebianno and Nélia C. Mestre.