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Toxicity Test Assay of Waterborne Methylmercury on the Japanese Flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) at Embryonic-Larval Stages

Abstract

Methylmercury (MeHg) is a widespread pollutant in aquatic ecosystems, but its toxicity to the early life stages of marine fish has not been adequately investigated. This study used acute toxicity tests on embryonic-larval stages of a marine flounder Paralichthys olivaceus to determine the LC50 values for embryos and larvae and evaluate the responses of several biological endpoints to subacute MeHg exposure. Under exposures (0–15 μg L−1) below LC50 values ( < 15.3 μg L−1 for embryos and 16.3 μg L−1 for larvae), embryos were more sensitive to MeHg than were the larvae. MeHg exposures at ≥ 13 μg L−1 increased morphological deformities and mortality, reduced growth and yolk absorption rate of the embryonic-larval flounder. These endpoints were sensitive to MeHg and their responses were dose-dependent. They could be used as bioindicators for assessing MeHg toxicity to the ELS of the flounder. Embryonic-larval flounder could be a useful fish for ecotoxicological assessment of MeHg in marine ecosystems.

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Acknowledgements

This study was financially supported by the National Key Basic Research Program (No. 2015CB453302) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41406176). We thank Prof. X.M. Liang of the Yellow Sea Fishery Station for providing the flounder eggs for this study.

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Correspondence to Shuozeng Dou.

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Ren, Z., Cao, L., Huang, W. et al. Toxicity Test Assay of Waterborne Methylmercury on the Japanese Flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) at Embryonic-Larval Stages. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 102, 770–777 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-019-02619-9

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Keywords

  • MeHg
  • Early life stages
  • Hatchability
  • Growth and morphological deformity
  • Bioindicators