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Bioaccumulation of toxins in non-toxic hatchery-reared juvenile “kusafugu” Takifugu alboplumbeus in Okirai Bay, Northern Japan

Abstract

To clarify the mechanism of tetrodotoxin (TTX) accumulation in pufferfish, we examined the changes in the toxicity of non-toxic hatchery-reared juvenile “kusafugu” Takifugu alboplumbeus after rearing them in Okirai Bay. Okirai Bay is located on the Pacific Coast of Sanriku, Tohoku Area in northern Japan and it is inhabited by the highly toxic wild T. alboplumbeus. The fish were placed in two plastic containers submerged at two points in Okirai Bay, i.e., Onisawa Fishing Port (FP) and Sodenosawa, 50 m from the coast at a depth of 1 m. The toxicity of the surviving fish was measured. The experiments were conducted twice in different years. The trials were repeated several times using new fish reared in the stock tank at intervals of roughly 2 or 4 weeks. TTX was detected in the fish from late July to early September at Onisawa FP, whereas TTX was not detected in any fish at Sodenosawa. In the wild juvenile T. alboplumbeus sampled in Onisawa FP, TTX was first detected in early September, and the concentration decreased until late October. These results support the hypothesis that T. alboplumbeus accumulate TTX by feeding on toxic organisms at a certain time of the year.

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Acknowledgements

This study was supported in part by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP14560159 to K. Yamamori and by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP16380138 to K. Yamamori and M. Amano. We thank Dr. Kiyoshi Furukawa, Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo, and Dr. Michiko Kono, Fisheries Research Laboratory, Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo, for providing juvenile T. alboplumbeus. We also thank undergraduate students of Laboratory of Aquatic Physiology, School of Marine Biosciences, Kitasato University, for assisting in this study.

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Correspondence to Masafumi Amano.

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Amano, M., Kubota, H. & Yamamori, K. Bioaccumulation of toxins in non-toxic hatchery-reared juvenile “kusafugu” Takifugu alboplumbeus in Okirai Bay, Northern Japan. Fish Sci 88, 617–624 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12562-022-01622-0

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12562-022-01622-0

Keywords

  • Takifugu alboplumbeus
  • Juvenile fish
  • Toxicity
  • Bioaccumulation