Methylmercury tolerance of killifish ( Fundulus heteroclitus) embryos from a polluted vs non-polluted environment Article Accepted: 14 September 1981 DOI:
Cite this article as: Weis, J.S., Weis, P., Heber, M. et al. Mar. Biol. (1981) 65: 283. doi:10.1007/BF00397123 Abstract
We have previously found great differences in susceptibility to methylmercury (meHg) among batches of eggs produced by different females. This study compares the range and distribution of susceptibility in two populations of killifish, one from a creek in Montauk, New York, USA a rather pristine area, the other from Pile's Creek in Linden, New Jersey, an area heavily impacted by metal and oil pollution. After treatment with 0.05 ppm meHg, the distribution of craniofacial defects in embryos of the Montauk population ranged from very tolerant to very susceptible. The distribution of cardiovascular defects also ranged from very tolerant to very susceptible. Skeletal defects were prevalent in most batches of eggs. However, in the Pile's Creek population, very few females produced susceptible eggs, and most batches were tolerant with respect to the three types of malformations, especially the craniofacial defects. The ability to adapt to pollution is one reason that this species has remained abundant in such a highly polluted area. The ability of some species to adapt to chronic pollution by developing tolerance is a phenomenon that should be considered in choosing organisms for routine bioassay procedures, since the results will depend on the degree to which the population has become tolerant to the toxicant.
Communicated by S. K. Pierce, College Park
Armstrong, P. and J. S. Child: Stages in the normal development of
. Biol. Bull. mar. biol. Lab., Woods Hole
, 143–168 (1965)
Bowers, M. A. III, D. Dostal, and J. F. Heisinger: Failure of selenite to protect against mercuric chloride in early developmental stages of the Japanese ricefish (
). Comp. Biochem. Physiol.
, 175–178 (1980)
Bryan, G. W.: Some aspects of heavy metal tolerance in aquatic organisms.
: Effects of pollutants on aquatic organisms, pp. 7–34. Ed. by A. Lockwood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1976
Cherian, M. G. and R. A. Goyer: Metallothioneins and their role in the metabolism and toxicity of metals. Life Sci.
, 1–10 (1978)
Costello, D. P., M. E. Dawson, A. Eggers, M. H. Fox, and C. Henley: Methods of obtaining and handling marine eggs and embryos, pp. 224–227. Woods Hole: Marine Biol. Lab. 1957
Dial, N. A.: Methylmercury: some effects on embryogenesis in the Japanese medaka,
, 83–92 (1978)
Fraser, J., T. Parker, and E. Verspoor: Tolerance to lead in the freshwater isopod,
. Water Res.
, 637–641 (1978)
Kihlstrom, J. E., C. Lundberg, and L. Hulth: Number of eggs and young produced by zebrafishes (
, Hamilton-Buchanan) spawning in water containing small amounts of phenylmercuric acetate. Environ. Res.
, 355–359 (1971)
Kinne, O.: Irreversible nongenetic adaptation. Comp. Biochem. Physiol.
, 265–282 (1962)
Koepp, S. J., J. M. McCormick, and S. L. Cheng: Distribution, flux, and biological effects of heavy metal pollutants in the Newark Bay estuary. Presented at Water Conference, Ramapo College, Mahwah, N. J., May 1980
Levinton, J. S.: Genetic divergence in estuaries.
: Estuarine perspectives, pp. 509–520. Ed. by V. Kennedy. New York: Academic Press 1980
Lloyd, R.: The toxicity of zinc sulfate to rainbow trout. Ann. Appl. Biol.
, 84–94 (1960)
Luoma, S. N.: Detection of trace contaminant effects in aquatic ecosystems. J. Fish. Res. Bd Can.
, 436–439 (1977)
McIntyre, J. D.: Toxicity of methylmercury for steelhead trout sperm. Bull. environ. Contam. Toxicol.
, 98–99 (1973)
Milton, J. and R. Koehn: Genetic organization and adaptive response of allozymes to ecological variables in
, 97–111 (1975)
Moraitou-Apostolopoulou, M., G. Verriopoulos, and P. Lentzou: Effects of sublethal concentrations of cadmium as posible indicators of cadmium pollution for two populations of
(Copepoda) living at two differently polluted areas. Bull. environ. Contam. Toxicol.
, 642–649 (1979)
Orciari, R. D.: Rotenone resistance of golden shiners from a periodically reclaimed pond. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc.
, 641–645 (1979)
Rahel, F. J.: Selection for zinc tolerance in fish: results from laboratory and wild populations. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc.
, 19–28 (1981)
Saliba, L. J. and R. M. Krzyz: Acclimation and tolerance of
to copper salts. Mar. Biol.
, 231–238 (1976)
Weis, J. S. and P. Weis: Effects of heavy metals on development of the killifish,
. J. Fish Biol.
, 49–54 (1977a)
Weis, P. and J. S. Weis: Methylmercury teratogenesis in the killingfish,
, 317–326 (1977b)
Weis, J. S., P. Weis, and J. Ricci: Effects of cadmium, zinc, salinity, and temperature on the teratogenicity of methylmercury to the killifish,
Fundulus heteroclitus. In: Second International Symposium on the Early Life History of Fishes, Woods Hole, April 1979 (In press)
Westernhagen, H. von, H. Rosenthal, and K.-R. Sperling: Combined effects of cadmium and salinity on development and survival of herring eggs. Helgol. wiss. Meeresunters.
, 416–433 (1974)