Dynamics of maternally transferred trace elements in oyster larvae and latent growth effects

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number3580
Journal / PublicationScientific Reports
Volume7
Online published15 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Abstract

Understanding the maternal transfer of contaminants and their potential effects has great implications for a valid ecological assessment of environmental pollution. However, relevant studies on marine bivalves are very limited. Here, we examined the maternal transfer of trace metals in populations of oyster Crassostrea hongkongensis with contrasting metal exposure histories. Elevated accumulation of trace metals was observed in eggs and larvae from contaminated sites, suggesting maternal transfer of multi-metals in natural oyster populations. The dynamics of maternally transferred metals was for the first time documented in this study. We demonstrated that excessively transferred metals in contaminated larvae were rapidly eliminated during the early developmental stage, and the efflux rate of metals in larvae was greatly dependent on environmental contamination level. These results provided the first field evidence of modified metal biokinetics in offsprings due to exposure history of adults in marine bivalves. Moreover, egg production was negatively correlated with the contamination level of metals in eggs. There was a further lagged growth in the contaminated larvae, indicating the potential adverse and latent effects of maternally transferred metals on the viability of oyster offspring. Our findings highlighted the importance of transgenerational studies on long-term metal exposure in marine bivalves. © 2017 The Author(s).

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