Influence of a marine diatom on the embryonic toxicity of 17α-ethynylestradiol to the abalone haliotis diversicolor supertexta

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

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  • Ying Liu
  • Nora Feng Yee Tam
  • Yuntao Guan
  • Baoyu Gao


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4383-4395
Journal / PublicationWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2012


The embryos of a marine abalone, Haliotis diversicolor supertexta, were exposed to a typical environmental estrogen, 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE2), for 96 h, to examine the acute toxicity of EE2 to the embryogenesis of the abalone. A marine diatom, Navicula incerta, was used in the test media as settlement substrate and food for the abalone larvae. During the embryo culture, more than 30 % of EE2 could be removed from the test media by the diatom, mainly via biodegradation, leading to a decrease of water-borne exposure dose. Further, the exposure concentrations of EE2 around the living microenvironment of the abalone larvae could be magnified 350-468 times after the larvae settled on the diatom, as indicated by the bioconcentration factors of EE2 in the diatom. Increased bioaccumulation of EE2 in the diatom caused greater inhibition on the metamorphosis of the abalone larvae by enhancing the uptake of EE2 in the larvae via dietary exposure, while declined water-borne exposure dose did not affect the embryonic toxicity of EE2 and its uptake in the abalone larvae. The 96-h median effective concentration of EE2 to the metamorphosis of the abalone larvae was 10.01 μg L-1, when the exposure doses in both the test media and the diatom were controlled stable. The 96-h hazard concentration for 5 % of the species was 1.20 μg L-1, which was still higher than but close to the reported upper contamination level of EE2 and could be employed as the safety threshold for the metamorphosis of the abalone embryos. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Research Area(s)

  • Acute toxicity, Bioaccumulation, Biodegradation, Dietary exposure, Environmental estrogen, Navicula incerta

Citation Format(s)