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Rainbow trout embryotoxicity of a complex contaminant mixture extracted from Lake Michigan lake trout

June 11, 1996

Persistent Hydrophobic contaminants such as poly chlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, dibenzofurans and biphenyl congeners are present in aquatic systems, and are known to produce adverse effects in fish. Reproductive failure in fish populations has been observed in aquatic systems contaminated with persistent hydrophobic compounds. In order to mimic maternal transfer of environmental contaminants to newly fertilized fish eggs, a complex environmental extract was tested for embryotoxicity in a nanoinjection bioassay with embryos of rainbow trout. The extract was obtained from whole adult lake trout collected from Lake Michigan in 1988. The tissue extraction involved blending and dehydration with sodium sulfate, column extraction, dialysis separation, reactive cleanup and, finally, high-performance gel permeation chromatography. Egg gram-equivalent doses (g tissue/g egg normalized for egg % lipid) of the final extract (0.02, 0.10, 0.20, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0, 10.0, 20.0 eggEQ) were injected into newly fertilized rainbow trout eggs using triolein as the vehicle. The extract of the lake trout was embryotoxic to rainbow trout, with an LD50 of 35 eggEQ, based on total cumulative mortality. Gross physical abnormalities characteristic of dioxin exposure, such as hemorrhaging, yolk-sac edema and craniofacial deformities, were observed and showed significant dose-related increases. Sublethal effects in the rainbow trout, such as delayed time to hatch, mild hemorrhaging and moderate yolk-sac edema, resulted from estimated total PCB exposure as low as 8.8 ng/g, and this may have significant implications on Great Lakes lake trout fry and juvenile mortality.

Publication Year 1996
Title Rainbow trout embryotoxicity of a complex contaminant mixture extracted from Lake Michigan lake trout
DOI 10.1016/0141-1136(95)00047-X
Authors Penelope J. Wilson, D. E. Tillitt
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Marine Environmental Research
Index ID 70188935
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Columbia Environmental Research Center