Toxic contaminants and their biological effects in coastal waters of Xiamen, China. II. Biomarkers and embryo malformation rates as indicators of pollution stress in fish.
ABSTRACT Baseline information is presented on embryo malformation rate and biomarkers in fish as indicators of sub-lethal stress caused by pollution in coastal waters of Xiamen, PR China. Fish and eggs were sampled from several areas in Xiamen coastal waters (Xiamen Harbour, Maluan and Tongan Bays and East Channel), where varying levels of pollutant input have been documented. Comparative sampling was done at a "cleaner" reference site at Dongshan Island. Embryonic malformation rates, which indicate general water quality, varied with location and species of fish, and exceeded background levels for unpolluted waters (assumed approximately 5%) by up to eightfold at some sites. Generally, sites around Xiamen Harbour show signs of poor water quality having highest mean levels of embryo deformity (20-30%) and these decreased towards open waters (Tongan Bay, Eastern Channel) where abnormalities approached background levels. An indication that toxic contaminants may be having a localised effect in the region, particularly in the harbour was reinforced by the biomarker assays. However, activities of the biomarkers ethoxyresorufin O-deethylase (EROD) and glutathione S-transferase in fish livers indicate no clear pattern, and there is no evidence that fish from the four sampling areas have been more or less exposed to PAHs and other compounds that induce these biomarkers. Antioxidant biomarkers (glutathione peroxidase, catalase, superoxide dismutase, and reduced glutathione) suggest that exposure to xenobiotics appears to be lowest in Dongshan and Maluan and highest in the harbour and Tongan. Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase in fish muscle indicated possible effects by organophosphate and carbamate pesticides in Xiamen waters and these effects may be greatest in the area of the harbour.
- SourceAvailable from: Graeme E Batley[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Ensuring the health of aquatic ecosystems and identifying species at risk from the detrimental effects of environmental contaminants can be facilitated by integrating analytical chemical analysis with carefully selected biological endpoints measured in tissues of species of concern. These biological endpoints include molecular, biochemical and physiological markers (i.e. biomarkers) that when integrated, can clarify issues of contaminant bioavailability, bioaccumulation and ecological effects while enabling a better understanding of the effects of non-chemical stressors. In the case of contaminant stressors, an understanding of chemical modes of toxicity can be incorporated with diagnostic markers of aquatic animal physiology to help understand the health status of aquatic organisms in the field. Furthermore, new approaches in functional genomics and bioinformatics can help discriminate individual chemicals, or groups of chemicals among complex mixtures that may contribute to adverse biological effects. While the use of biomarkers is not a new paradigm, such approaches have been underutilized in the context of ecological risk assessment and natural resource damage assessment. From a regulatory standpoint, these approaches can help better assess the complex effects from coastal development activities to assessing ecosystem integrity pre- and post-development or site remediation. Integr Environ Assess Manag © 2014 SETAC.Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 07/2014; 10(3). DOI:10.1002/ieam.1530
- Cahiers de Biologie Marine 01/2011; 52:357-360. · 0.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Many pesticides have been documented to induce embryotoxicity and teratogenicity in non-target aquatic biota such a fish, amphibians and invertebrates. Our review of the existing literature shows that a broad range of pesticides, representing several different chemical classes, induce variable toxic effects in aquatic species. The effects observed include diverse morphological malformations as well as physiological and behavioral effects. When development malformations occur, the myoskeletal system is among the most highly sensitive of targets. Myoskeletal effects that have been documented to result from pesticides were also known to interfere with the development of organ systems including the eyes or the heart and are also known to often cause lethal or sublethal edema in exposed organisms. The Physiological, behavioral, and population endpoints affected by pesticides include low or delayed hatching, growth suppression, as well as embryonal or larval mortality. The risks associated with pesticide exposure increase particularly during the spring. This is the period of time in which major pepticide applications take place, and this period unfortunately also coincides with many sensitive reproductive events such as spawning, egg laying, and early development of many aquatic organisms. Only few experimental studies with pesticides have directly linked developmental toxicity with key oxidative stress endpoints, such as lipid peroxidation, oxidative DNA damage, or modulation of antioxidant mechanisms. On the other hand, it has been documented in many reports that pesticide-related oxidative damage occurs in exposed adult fish, amphibians, and invertebrates. Moreover, the contribution of oxidative stress to the toxicity of pesticides has been emphasized in several recent review papers that have treated this topic. In conclusion, the available experimental data, augmented by several indirect lines of evidence, provide support to the concept that oxidative stress is a highly important mechanism in pesticide-induce reproductive or developmental toxicity. Other stressors may also act by oxidative mechanisms. This notwithstanding, there is much yet to learn about the details of this phenomenon and further research is needed to more fully elucidate the effects that pesticides have and the environmental risks they pose in the early development of aquatic organisms.Reviews of environmental contamination and toxicology 01/2011; 211:25-61. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4419-8011-3_2 · 3.63 Impact Factor