Toxicological responses of an organism are disturbances of function. This as a starting point we review and discuss issues that we consider important in applying functional genomics to aquatic toxicology. Functional genomics includes all the steps in gene expression pathway. Thus, ultimately the goal is to relate genome information to protein activity. In ecotoxicogenomics the toxicological responses must further be combined with responses to natural environmental changes. We focus on fish, but also consider commonly used invertebrates, mainly Daphnia. We first go through the toxicologically important features of genomes of aquatic animals, and then review the reference gene approach to quantify transcript amount. Thereafter we emphasize the need to relate the mRNA and protein levels, and protein activity of individual genes. Finally we discuss how functional genomic investigations may be important in resolving current environmental problems and give our views of valuable future research topics. ?? 2011 Elsevier B.V.
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