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SUITABILITY OF A PUERTO RICAN CHIRONOMINI AS MODEL ORGANISM FOR FRESHWATER BIOASSAYS

Different freshwater organisms have been identified by the EPA as potential models for bioassays and ecotoxicological analyses. The majority of these organisms do not have a practical use as indicators outside their geographic area (e.g., continental United States). This represents a problem for locations like Puerto Rico, where few of the EPA recommended freshwater organisms are natively present. Previous efforts on the island have been centered in developing model organisms for laboratory testing, but focusing in brackish environments. Currently, we lack a native model organism for freshwater ecosystems. Here, our aim is to evaluate the suitability of a native Chironomini species as model organism for assessing the effects of contaminants on freshwater ecosystems. To achieve this, we isolated a single population under controlled laboratory conditions. The original population was obtained from egg masses collected in the field. Our study indicates that the species is easy to manage in the laboratory and has a rapid life cycle. Therefore, this chironomid has the suitable characteristics to be used as model organism for bioassays and ecotoxicological studies in freshwater environments in Puerto Rico.

Roberto Reyes-Maldonado (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, robertoomaldo@gmail.com;


Alonso Ramirez ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras, aramirez@ramirezlab.net;