Agriculture - - Potential Use -

THE COM­MON CARP, known as “karpa” in the lo­cal mar­ket, can pos­si­bly help in de­tect­ing the mag­ni­tude of wastes in wa­ter ways In a study con­ducted by Dr. Michelle Grace V. Paraso of the Col­lege of Ve­teri­nary Medicine, Uni­ver­sity of the Philip­pines Los Baños, carp was found to have a po­ten­tial use as a biomarker in de­tect­ing the level of pol­lu­tants in the coun­try’s wa­ter re­sources.

The study eval­u­ated carp as a fish biomarker in deter­min­ing the con­tam­i­na­tion of La­guna de Bay in four sites: Sta. Cruz and Paete, La­guna (East Bay) and Taguig City and Muntinlupa City (West Bay).

A biomarker is an or­gan­ism with a par­tic­u­lar sub­stance which may serve as in­di­ca­tor of some nat­u­ral phe­nom­e­non like pol­lu­tion and var­i­ous bi­o­log­i­cal pres­sures like in­fec­tion and dis­ease.

Dr. Paraso found that ma­jor­ity of the male carp in the study site had shrunken testes com­pared with those of nor­mal male carp. Shrunken testes in a male carp in­di­cate that the fish has been fem­i­nized. Such fem­i­niza­tion shows that the carp was ex­posed to a cer­tain type of pol­lu­tant—in this case, es­tro­gen—among oth­ers.

Ac­cord­ing to the study, changes in the re­pro­duc­tive con­di­tions of carp are in­flu­enced by sev­eral fac­tors, such as food avail­abil­ity, wa­ter qual­ity, and tem­per­a­ture.

Estro­genic con­tam­i­nant or pol­lu­tant is es­tro­gen pro­duced through un­nat­u­ral means. The con­tam­i­nants de­vel­oped from chem­i­cal com­po­nents ob­tained in an en­vi­ron­ment and they cause re­pro­duc­tive im­pair­ment in wa­ter or­gan­isms such as fish.

Dr. Paraso is also an ex­pert from the Ve­teri­nary Medicine Di­vi­sion of the Na­tional Re­search Coun­cil of the Philip­pines of the Depart­ment of Science and Tech­nol­ogy (NRCP-DOST), which funded this study. The study is rel­e­vant now that the gov­ern­ment is push­ing for a cleaner en­vi­ron­ment, es­pe­cially in the coastal ar­eas where many peo­ple live and prac­tice their liveli­hoods.

To know more about the ser­vices of NRCP, visit their web­site: http://www.nrcp.dost.gov.ph (By Geral­dine Bu­laon-Du­cusin, DOST-STII)

The smaller testes of the carp “fem­i­nize” it and are a good in­di­ca­tor of pol­lu­tion in a sam­ple site.

A sci­en­tist col­lects a blood sam­ple from a carp found in one of the study sites.

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