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The use of seaweed flies to assess the long-term effects of environmental mutagens - AE0131

R&D Summary Objectives:- Quantify mutagenic changes accumilated in seaweed flies over several generations and correlate these with radiation exposure in populations living naturally in areas where radiation levels are increased. Develop a sensitive assay of environmental mutagenesis. Key customer purpose:- Provide MAFF with a sensitive assay of environmental mutagenesis. Improve understanding of long-term environmental mutagenic effects and hence assist MAFF in its assessment of the hazard arising from past and current discharges of radioactive waste.
The first objective is to expose a population of seaweed flies (coelopa frigida) to a dose of radiation that is approximately equivalent to the dose received by natural populations during the 30 years of operation of the Windscale/Sellafield installations. The flies will be continously exposed over a period of one year during which time they will have completed about 25 generations. The dose rate will of necessity be higher than that normally received by flies. Control populations will be cultured under identical conditions, but without radiation. The second objective is to measure the level of heterosis in the exposed and control groups, and the 10 estimates of heterosis will be carried out simultaneously during the two months following the year's exposure. Analysis of the data should be completed within a further four weeks. These results should answer the crucial question as to whether there is any detectable difference in the level of heterosis between the experimental and control replicates.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1994

To: 1995

Cost: £51,305
Contractor / Funded Organisations
University - Nottingham
Environmental monitoring              
Environmental Protection              
Water quality monitoring              
Fields of Study
Environmental Protection - Marine