The sea urchin, a versatile model for eco-toxicity studies and ecological experimental research
AbstractEchinoderm early developmental stages represent a good tool for toxicity testing in different fields, ranging from environment to food contamination, and in full respect of the 3Rs objectives (Reduction, Refinement, Replacement of animal experiments), that will lead to the reduction of vertebrate use for toxicity testing. Further, sea urchins are key species in a wide range of marine habitats, as they are able to structure algal community. Experiments and observations aiming at the characterization of anthropogenic or climate changes effects on their settlement, population structure, feeding behaviour and reproductive condition, may be useful to describe future scenarios regarding the whole marine community. The present paper represents a short review of the possible applications of eco-toxicity bioassays using Paracentrotus lividus gametes and embryos. Further, examples of ecological researches, involving sea urchins, aiming at the definition of future scenarios will be preserved.
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Copyright (c) 2011 D. Privitera, M.G. Aluigi, C. Falugi, M. Chiantore
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