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EVOGENERATE is a workgroup focused on: "EVOlutionary and multi-GENERATional Effects of chemicals”

The EVOGENERATE workgroup is part of the OMICs Interest Group. It was originally conceived in 2012 under the Ecological Risk Assessment Interest Group.

A limitation of some ecotoxicity testing procedures or risk assessment approaches is that they do not consider effects beyond single generations of exposed organisms. Yet, under continuous multi-generational exposure, offspring may show lower or higher sensitivity to chemicals than their parent(s) (e.g. acclimation to metals). Furthermore, an offspring's sensitivity to chemicals, and that of even later generations, may be affected by their parents' (or grandparents') prior exposure, even long after exposure has ceased (=trans-generational and/or epigenetic effects). Finally, in a population context, (micro)-evolutionary mechanisms (such as selection, mutation, genetic drift, and gene flow may be induced or altered by chemicals over long exposure times. This would result in changes in genetic composition of populations with possible consequences such as genetic diversity loss, genetic adaptation, and costs of adaptation.

Although research activities in this area are currently increasing at a rapid pace (in part fueled by the rapid advancement of omics technologies), an important issue remains that most of this research is and has been mainly descriptive and not fit for implementation in regulatory chemicals assessment and management. The major aims of the EVOGENERATE working group are to (i) assess the regulatory significance of evolutionary and multigenerational effects, (ii) raise awareness of such effects, and (iii) to develop and promote use of tools, methods and protocols to assess and predict evolutionary and multigenerational effects, not only in an academic but also in a regulatory context.

Current chairs of this working group are Elias Oziolor and Jana Asselman

If you are interested in joining this working group and/or actively want to contribute to achieving our aims, please let us know.