The Brazilian oyster Crassostrea brasiliana was challenged to three common environmental contaminants: phenanthrene, diesel fuel water-accommodated fraction (WAF) and domestic sewage. Total RNA was extracted from the gill and digestive gland, and cDNA libraries were sequenced using the 454 FLX platform. The assembled transcriptome resulted in ?20,000 contigs, which were annotated to produce the first de novo transcriptome for C. brasiliana. Sequences were screened to identify genes potentially involved in the biotransformation of xenobiotics and associated antioxidant defence mechanisms. These gene families included those of the cytochrome P450 (CYP450), 70kDa heat shock, antioxidants, such as glutathione S-transferase, superoxide dismutase, catalase and also multi-drug resistance proteins. Analysis showed that the massive expansion of the CYP450 and HSP70 family due to gene duplication identified in the Crassostrea gigas genome also occurred in C. brasiliana, suggesting these processes form the base of the Crassostrea lineage. Preliminary expression analyses revealed several candidates biomarker genes that were up-regulated during each of the three treatments, suggesting the potential for environmental monitoring.