John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Sensitivity of shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) and pallid sturgeon (S. albus) early life stages to 3,3′,4,4′,5‐pentachlorobiphenyl and 2,3,7,8‐tetrachlorodibenzo‐P‐dioxin exposure

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Concern exists that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) may be contributing to the current decline of shovelnose sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus) and the US federally endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus). Waterborne exposures with newly fertilized eggs were used to assess developmental and morphological effects of 2 of the most potent aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists, 3,3′,4,4′,5‐pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB‐126) and 2,3,7,8‐tetrachlorodibenzo‐p‐dioxin (TCDD), on early life stage shovelnose and pallid sturgeon. No dose‐related effects of PCB‐126 were observed on percent development or hatch in either species at concentrations as high as 1711 ng/g egg. Effects of TCDD on percent development were not assessed in shovelnose sturgeon. However, percent development was not affected by TCDD in pallid sturgeon, and percent hatch was unaffected by TCDD doses as high as 60 ng/g egg to 81 ng/g egg in either species. Morphological pathologies such as yolk sac edema and craniofacial deformities were typical of AhR agonist exposure and were similar in both species. Calculated PCB‐126 50% lethal dose (LD50, 95% fiducial limits) values were 196 ng/g egg (188–203 ng/g) for shovelnose and 159 ng/g egg (122–199 ng/g) for pallid sturgeon. Likewise, calculated TCDD LD50 values were 13 ng/g egg (11–15 ng/g) for shovelnose and 12 ng/g egg (10–14 ng/g) for pallid sturgeon. These LD50 values are among the highest recorded in early life stage fish, suggesting that early life stage Scaphirhynchus sturgeon may be comparatively insensitive to AhR agonists. Environ Toxicol Chem 2015;9999:1–8. © 2015 SETAC

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