Article

Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 659-669

Embryo Toxicity of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-Dioxin to the Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)

  • T. P. AugspurgerAffiliated withU.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Integrated Toxicology Program, Duke University Email author 
  • , D. E. TillittAffiliated withU.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center
  • , S. J. BursianAffiliated withDepartment of Animal Science, Michigan State University
  • , S. D. FitzgeraldAffiliated withDiagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health, Michigan State University
  • , D. E. HintonAffiliated withNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Integrated Toxicology Program, Duke University
  • , R. T. Di GiulioAffiliated withNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Integrated Toxicology Program, Duke University

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Abstract

We examined the sensitivity of the wood duck (Aix sponsa) embryo to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) by injecting the toxicant into their eggs. Six groups of wood duck eggs (n = 35 to 211 per trial) were injected with 0 to 4600 pg TCDD/g egg between 2003 and 2005. Injections were made into yolk prior to incubation, and eggs were subsequently incubated and assessed weekly for mortality. Significant TCDD-induced mortality was not observed through day 25 (90% of incubation). Liver, heart, eye, and brain histology were generally unremarkable. Hepatic ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity, a biomarker of dioxin-like compound exposure, was induced by 12-fold in the 4600 pg/g treatment relative to controls. The median lethal dose for chicken (Gallus domesticus) eggs we dosed identically to wood duck eggs was about 100 pg/g, similar to other assessments of chickens. Among dioxin-like compound embryo lethality data for 15 avian genera, the wood duck 4600 pg/g no-observed-effect level ranks near the middle. Because no higher doses were tested, wood ducks may be like other waterfowl (order Anseriformes), which are comparatively tolerant to embryo mortality from polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans when exposed by egg injection.